How to Make a Caramel Macchiato with an Espresso Machine

How to Make a Caramel Macchiato with an Espresso Machine

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The Caramel Macchiato is with doubts one of the most popular coffee drinks in any coffee shop. But what if you want to enjoy it at home using your espresso machine?

Well, in order to come up with a great Caramel Macchiato using an espresso machine, you just need these things: an espresso machine with a steam wand, a cooking thermometer, a pitcher, 2 demitasses and a mug. The basic ingredients you need are: freshly ground espresso and a quality caramel syrup for cooking. And that is pretty much it. 

Let’s dive now in the details on how the tools and ingredients come together.

But before going to the process, let’s answer this question: just what is a caramel macchiato?

The answer comes in two varieties.

First, there’s the answer that describes what a caramel macchiato means to a coffee lover.

A caramel macchiato is a sweet, creamy, experience with a hint of espresso, an experience that breathes luxury and relaxation into what would have otherwise been an ordinary day.

Then there’s the more prosaic answer.

The caramel macchiato is a popular milk-based, caramel flavoured coffee drink first brewed by Starbucks in 1996.

Experience the Perfect Caramel Macchiato Recipe

An espresso machine with a steam wand is required for this method of preparing a caramel macchiato, as listed with the other necessary equipment below:

  • Espresso machine with a steam wand
  • Cooking thermometer
  • Pitcher (about 1 quart or large enough in which to foam 16 oz. of milk)
  • 2 Demitasses
  • Preheated coffee mug

You may wish to opt for a clear mug in order to view the beautiful blend of a caramel macchiato.

Caramel Macchiato Ingredients

Coffee has a delicate flavour and it depends on a mix of several factors.

Temperature changes it.

The locality in which the beans were grown changes it.

The method used to grind those beans, the precise amount of water, even the way you pour the coffee – everything has a subtle effect on the flavour of the perfect cup of coffee.

What are the specific requirements for a caramel macchiato?

For a macchiato, it all starts with ice cold milk, high-quality caramel syrup, and your favourite coffee bean.

  • 16 oz. milk
  • 3 oz. caramel syrup
  • 1 shot of espresso (18-21 grams)
  • 1 Tbsp. vanilla syrup (optional)

Make Sure You’ve Found the Right Syrup

You already know that the choice of a quality coffee bean is important.

When you’re creating a caramel macchiato, acquiring a quality caramel syrup for cooking is important, too.

Feeling really ambitious?

If you’d like to control the quality of your macchiato from start to finish, you can try a homemade caramel syrup.

You’ll need the following ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. Vanilla

Melt the butter in a saucepan on the stove and stir in the cream, sugar, and salt.

Cook this mixture for four minutes over medium heat.

Be careful not to scorch it.

Remove it from the heat before stirring in the vanilla flavouring.

This will provide you with plenty of caramel syrup for your next several macchiatos.

caramel macchiato

Foam the Caramel Flavoured Milk to 155-160° F

Once you’ve chosen quality ingredients, your first objective is to produce that wonderful, foamy, caramel flavoured steamed milk that makes up the body of the caramel macchiato.

If you have an intolerance or simply prefer not to use regular dairy milk, you can substitute soy, almond, or hemp milk.

Just be aware that the steaming process might develop a little differently.

Pour the milk into the pitcher and add the caramel syrup.

Head over to the espresso machine and put the tip of the steam wand into the milk.

Let it just touch the surface.  It needs to produce bubbles in order to froth the milk into just the right texture.

If you’re doing it correctly, you should hear a faint hissing sound as the steam wand heats and foams the milk.

Be aware that the steamed milk will continue to heat for a few seconds after you’ve removed the steam wand from the pitcher.

To achieve the right temperature, you’ll have to stop using the wand before it reaches optimal temperatures between 155° and 160° Fahrenheit.

About 140° is a good target.

When the milk reaches this temperature, remove the steam wand and watch the temperature gauge carefully.

What should you do if you’ve overshot the mark and the temperature reaches as high as 170°?

Well, the flavour of your coffee will suffer.

If your goal is a matchless caramel macchiato, foaming the milk to just the right temperature is the first step to master, so you might want to try again until you’ve achieved a temperature between 155° and 160°.

Set that exquisitely foamed pitcher of milk aside.

The bubbles will pop and the foam will stiffen to perfection while you’re preparing the espresso.

Brew the Espresso

Get one shot of freshly ground espresso ready by tamping it, first with 30 pounds of pressure, then again with 15.

As a coffee aficionado, you’ve probably already practiced achieving that completely accurate stamp using a set of scales.

Put the tamped coffee into your espresso machine and draw two demitasses in steady, thin streams.

This will take about 18 to 22 seconds of drawing a light brown espresso – almost the colour of caramel itself.

This colour indicates that you’ve ground and tamped your espresso properly.

Check out the exact colour and appearance of an optimal espresso extraction by viewing the techniques of an expert.

Prepare the Cup

The faultless macchiato requires a faultless presentation.  For that, you’ll want to preheat your coffee mug.

If you prefer the additional flavouring of vanilla in your macchiato, drizzle a tablespoon of vanilla syrup into the bottom and sides of the cup before proceeding to the next step.

Pour the Macchiato

Begin by pouring just the steamed milk into your preheated mug, then topping it with a layer of luscious foam.

Be sure to leave room for the addition of the espresso.

Notice that you probably won’t need to use all of the steamed milk that you prepared for your macchiato – it has been utilized in the formation of all of that wonderful foam.

The espresso must be poured slowly into the center of the milk in two thin, steady streams to create the ideal blend of a perfect caramel macchiato.

Underneath, the foamy, warm milk is supporting the layer of espresso so that it will be the first taste experienced when the macchiato is enjoyed.

Once the espresso has been poured, it can be topped with an additional dollop of foam from the pitcher of steamed milk.

A drizzle of vanilla or caramel over the top – and you’ve created the classic caramel macchiato.

Try the Iced Caramel Macchiato Recipe

Technically, the true coffee lover never finds that it’s too hot outside to indulge in a cup of coffee.

After all, how could it ever be the wrong time for a caramel macchiato?

If you would prefer a cold drink, however, the caramel macchiato can become an iced drink.

Iced Caramel Macchiato Ingredients

The ingredients for an iced macchiato are similar to the ingredients for the hot version.

  • 1 Tbsp. caramel syrup
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • 1 shot of espresso
  • 8 oz. milk

Iced Caramel Macchiato Instructions

Preparation is simple.

This time, prepare a chilled glass and pour the tablespoon of caramel syrup into the bottom of the glass.

Fill the glass with at least a cup of ice cubes.  Now, pour the shot of espresso over the top of the ice to chill it.

If you would like to use frothed milk in your iced macchiato, it is simple to achieve.

Choose a jar with a tight-fitting lid that will hold about twice the volume of milk as you will be using.

Pour the milk into the jar, secure the lid, and shake it vigorously for about a minute.

The milk will froth beautifully for use in your caramel macchiato.

Either way, pour the milk (plain or frothed) into the glass over the espresso.

Make sure to reserve some of the foam for the top if you’re using frothed milk.

Maybe an extra drizzle of syrup wouldn’t go amiss, either.

Some devotees of the iced caramel macchiato prefer to have their drink well-stirred to completely meld the flavours before they experience it.

Others ask for an “upside-down” macchiato.

You might want to try yours the classic way before you decide how you like it best.

Let Us Know How It Tastes

Will you begin with the simpler iced caramel macchiato or strive to master the classic hot version?

Either way, we’d like to know how it turned out.

Try a caramel macchiato of your own and let us know how it turns out in the comments section below.