The Perfect Caffe’ Macchiato Recipe

Macchiato means “marked,” and for this espresso drink, hot espresso is poured into a demitasse cup, then marked with foam from steamed milk.

  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 6 tablespoons freshly brewed espresso

If you have an espresso machine with a steamer and frothing (foaming) attachment, steam and froth the milk following the manufacturer’s directions.  Or, you can heat the milk and froth it using a manual frother following the manufacturers directions.  (Whichever way you steam and froth the milk, it will increase 2 or more times in volume.)

Pour half of the espresso into each of 2 warm demitasse cups.  Top each serving with 1 to 2 teaspoons foam.  Serve immediately.

Makes Two 1 1/2 ounce servings (with a little milk leftover)

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An Espresso-Based Frozen Drink

Recipe (makes 2 medium-sized frozen drinks)

  • 4 shots of espresso – – I used Sweet Maria’s Liquid Amber Espresso Blend, home-roasted to perfection and pulled fresh exactly 24-hours after roasting. If you aren’t a home roaster substitute an espresso blend from your favorite roaster. And if you don’t have an espresso machine, brew 4 oz. of double-strength coffee with your coffee brewer.
  • 1/4 cup of white sugar – – it is best to mix the sugar in with hot espresso to ensure that the sugar dissolves (see notes on sugar substitues below)
  • 2.5 cups of either whole or 2% milk — 1% milk works, but it doesn’t result in as rich of a drink
  • 1 tablespoon of pectin
  • At least 2 cups of ice – – that’s about 1 cup of ice per drink serving, depending on your blender

Preparation Tips

  • If you don’t have pectin, it can be skipped, but this element does help the drink to “feel” right when compared to the store-bought drinks. The pectin should be added to the mixture a minimum of thirty minutes prior to serving the drinks. This works out well because you can make the drink mixture prior to the serving time. This drink mixture stores well for up to 24 hours (but I didn’t try to store it longer).
  • The pectin will combine with any undissolved sugar and thicken the mixture, so be sure to stir mixture prior to pouring it in the blender and adding the ice.

What the heck is Pectin?

Pectin is a thickening agent. Although it is a naturally-occurring gum found in fruit, it is sold in either a (white) powder or liquid form. It is usually used when canning fruit, thus it can be found with canning supplies. Powdered pectin is available more readily than liquid pectin. I was unable to locate the liquid pectin, so I used powdered and it worked fine. I didn’t find any difference between powdered brands once they were added to the drink mixture, and a box of a powdered pectin agent will cost you less than a dollar. Arrowroot costs a little more but can be substituted; arrowroot will be found in the spice isle at the grocery store. Just don’t try to use corn starch, gelatin, or flour. And if you’re not interested in having the drink approximate the store-bought drink, you can skip it altogether.

Sugar Substitutes

For the purposes of testing the recipe, I tried several variations on the theme. One thing you can’t order at these coffee conglomerates is a sugar-free version of a blended frozen drink. I have some friends who are sugarfree conoisseurs, so we tested some sugar substitutes during our tasting session. The winners: Erythritol and Splenda. Both of these sugar subsitutes can be measured out just like regular sugar. Both seemed to dissolve effortlessly into the coffee despite the fact that the espresso had cooled. They tasted very, very good, but it should be noted that the resulting drinks didn’t have quite the same feeling in your mouth as the sugar-based drink. I suppose that this could be counteracted by using whole milk (which has the naturally-occuring milk sugars), but the same testers who were using sugar substitutes were also avoiding fat, so I made these drinks with 1% milk.

Espresso Drinks For Summer

I will happily drink hot coffee any time of year. I have been good-naturedly derided for firing up the espresso machine on a ninety-degree afternoon. I have gone into a café and ordered a latte in August. I have even drunk coffee with verve after working all day in the steamy weather of a tropical fishing village in Nicaragua. In short, I’m not shy about drinking hot coffee on a hot day. There are times, however, when an iced coffee hits the spot.

The question is: how to brew a hot coffee and chill it quickly, without watering it down. There is, in fact, a cheap, easy way of icing any coffee or tea drink on the spot. All you need is a cocktail shaker. Simply pour your drink into the mixer with three or four ice cubes, shake until cold, and strain your beverage into an appropriate glass. It’s simple enough, and this formula should work well for almost any coffee drink.

If you’re going to go out and buy a cocktail shaker, you’ll need to decide which style you want to purchase. The one I own consists of a cup-like base and a two-piece lid with a built-in strainer and removable cap. This works nicely because it doesn’t require any special skill to use, and it reliably leaves a good crema on my espresso. There is another style of mixer which consists of two cups which fit together to create a sealed compartment for shaking the beverage. I get the impression that this kind of mixer is less common. I have not used a two-cup shaker, and it looks difficult, so I’m sticking to the three-piece model, if for no other reason, in the interest of keeping my precious coffee off the kitchen floor. I’m sure, however, that the two-piece style ultimately works just as well as its three-piece counterpart.

Now that you have your shaker, you’re ready to start icing. Remember that it’s better to put in too much ice than too little. If you don’t use enough, you’ll just end up with a lukewarm (and rather unsatisfying) drink. With that in mind, have fun! I’ve included some of my favorite iced coffee recipes below to provide a starting point, but I maintain that just about any drink can be iced. It just takes a little creativity.

Café Freddo (Chilled Espresso)

Begin with a double shot of espresso. Pour your drink into a cocktail mixer with three ice cubes. Shake well. Strain it into an empty glass. If you do it just so, you should be able to obtain a long-lasting, foamy crema on top of the drink.

Iced Café Americano

Begin with a double shot of espresso. Add an equal portion of water. Pour your drink into a cocktail mixer with three ice cubes. Add milk or cream to taste. Shake well. Strain it into a glass with fresh ice.

Regular Iced Coffee

Make a glassful of regular coffee in your preferred method (drip or French press). Pour your drink into a cocktail mixer with four ice cubes. Add milk or cream to taste. Shake well. Strain it into a glass with fresh ice.

Iced “Latte”

Begin with a double shot of espresso. Add an equal portion of milk. Pour your drink into a cocktail mixer with three ice cubes. Shake well. Strain it into a glass with fresh ice.