There are some classic coffee-based drinks you can find on any coffee shop menu—learn what is inside these three favorites, latte, macchiato, and Americano.
Walking into a coffee shop and looking at the menu can make you wonder if everything is being written in code. The names really don’t tell you what is inside a drink, and that can make it difficult to know what you should choose for your morning pick-me-up.
In this article, we are going to demystify those three popular coffee-based drinks—the latte, the macchiato, and the Americano.
A latte is easily one of the most popular and well-known drinks available at a coffee shop. In fact, many beginners choose this from the menu just because it is so recognizable—but what is a latte? Let’s find out.
A latte is traditionally made using two ingredients—espresso and milk. However, it actually has three primary features inside of it, with milk accounting for two of them.
A standard version of this drink will have one or two shots of espresso, but people may do more or less based on their own preferences. The espresso shots are combined with steamed milk. This combination makes up the majority of the drink.
On top of the steamed milk and espresso, it is also common to add frothed milk, which many people know as foam. This milk has been treated, giving it a light, fluffy, and airy texture that people really enjoy.
Although the traditional latte is considered a classic, it is a drink that has been adapted time and time again in the modern coffee age. Many people choose to trade traditional dairy milk for low-fat or dairy-free alternatives to better accommodate their diets.
In addition to using a substitute for the milk and foam, it is also fairly common for people to enjoy a latte with added flavoring. This is generally added in the form of syrup, which means you can make a latte with virtually any flavor. However, adding flavoring will often increase the calories and sugar levels in this drink.
If there is one place where coffee is a huge part of the culture, it is Italy. The macchiato is one of Italy’s creations, and thanks to its robust flavor and ability to give a great boost, it has become popular all around the world. From the traditional macchiato to the latte alternatives, these drinks are a hit at coffee shops!
The breakdown of a macchiato will often vary depending on how the coffee shop you visit makes it. There are traditional macchiatos, and then there are latte macchiatos, which are the option you are more likely to find at popular coffee chains, although most offer both.
The traditional take on a macchiato consists of two ingredients, just like a latte—milk and espresso.
With this variation, you will combine a shot or two of espresso with a balanced amount of steamed milk. Finally, frothed milk is added to the top in a beautiful and artistic display. As is the case with any drink, you can adapt the macchiato to your desired level of espresso.
A latte macchiato is what most people expect if they visit one of the larger coffee houses, and you may learn that you prefer one style over the other. This variety is a latte with syrup added—and it is also a much larger drink with a higher concentration of milk.
The most common and well-known version of this drink is the caramel macchiato. Although you may be able to get a traditional macchiato with caramel, this often refers to the latte variety. Interestingly enough, the caramel macchiato generally uses vanilla syrup inside and caramel on top of the drink.
As you might expect, this drink can also be adapted to suit different preferences. By changing up the milk option, adding in a substitute flavoring choice, or just shifting the overall balance of the drink, you can make this one your own.
An Americano is one of those drinks that is often recognized by name, but that doesn’t mean the average coffee drinker knows what is in it. First getting its start in the 1940s, this drink is a combination of cultures and adds a perfect no-calorie jolt to your day.
An Americano looks like a classic cup of coffee, but it is actually a fancier alternative. Funny enough, this drink is believed to have been created out of someone’s attempt to make something similar to classic American coffee while abroad.
Inside an Americano, you will find two very simple ingredients—espresso and steaming hot water. These two ingredients are combined to make a smoother take on traditional espresso that you can sip on more comfortably.
There is very little room to get creative with an Americano since it is only espresso and water. Of course, baristas know that even the smallest changes can make a big difference.
The first potential change that a person can make is choosing different beans to make the espresso. While espresso is typically made with dark roast, you could choose to make it with other varieties to see how it influences the final flavor.
The second big change would be how the ingredients are combined. Some prefer adding the espresso to the water, while others prefer adding the water to the espresso. Minor variations can occur based on this process.
A little coffee in the morning can help you to start your day off energized with a smile, but it is always important to know what is in the coffee that you drink. These three popular varieties are some of the healthier coffee drinks available, but modifications can have a big impact on how they influence your health in the end.
Before you add a new drink to your daily routine, be sure to research what is in it to decide whether or not it is right for you!
This is not professional medical advice.