Iced Macchiato vs. Iced Latte (Explanation & Recipe)

Last Updated on February 9, 2022 by brewthatcoffee

Want to know the difference between an iced macchiato vs. iced latte? Walking up to the coffee shop counter can be necessarily intimidating, so we’re going to help you. This article will teach you exactly what an iced macchiato is, what an iced latte is, and how to order/make them.

Iced Macchiato vs. Iced Latte (Explanation & Recipe)

Iced Macchiato vs. Iced Latte

Iced Macchiato

The iced macchiato can be pretty confusing to be people since it varies by the coffee shop. To understand the iced macchiato, it’s important to first learn what a traditional macchiato is.

Translated from Italian to English, macchiato means “stained”, “spotted”, or “marked”. Macchiatos are made by brewing two shots of espresso and adding one or two teaspoons of steamed milk on top, staining the espresso with milk.

Since macchiatos are characterized by their stained appearance, it doesn’t quite work in a drink with ice. If you go into your local coffee shop, you will notice that macchiatos are mostly milk, topped with two shots of espresso.

Starbucks Version of an Iced Macchiato (Grande) – The iced macchiato at Starbucks is called the Iced Caramel Macchiato, and it’s their only regular menu version of an iced macchiato. It’s made by pouring vanilla syrup and two shots of espresso over milk and ice. Lastly, it’s topped with a caramel drizzle.

Dunkin Donuts Version of an Iced Macchiato (Medium) – The Dunkin Donuts ice macchiato is made by pouring two shots of espresso over milk and ice.

Iced Latte

An iced latte is one part espresso and three parts milk poured over ice and often served with milk/flavorings. Does this sound oddly like a macchiato? That’s because it’s extremely similar.

Many people have voiced their annoyance over the redundancy of these two drinks. How can a macchiato still be a macchiato if it is prepared completely different, and essentially an iced latte that hasn’t been stirred? It’s beyond us too.

However, please take a look below to see how a couple of popular coffee shops prepare their iced lattes and macchiatos. This will give you an idea of what you’re ordering next time you go on a coffee run.

Starbucks Version of an Iced Latte (Grande) – An iced latte at Starbucks is called an Iced Caffè Latte. It is made by pouring two shots of espresso and milk over ice.

Dunkin Donuts Version of an Iced Latte (Medium) – The Dunkin Donuts version of an iced latte is made by pouring one shot of espresso and milk over ice.

What is an iced latte-macchiato?

The iced latte-macchiato is essentially a drink created by Starbucks. It’s made with three shots of espresso poured over milk and ice.

How to Make an Iced Macchiato

Making an iced macchiato at home is very simple. For the purpose of making this iced macchiato as close to a traditional hot macchiato as possible, the ratio is different than what you’d see at Starbucks.

This recipe includes vanilla syrup, which is totally optional. Feel free to add any syrup you like or forgo the syrup altogether.

Iced Macchiato

How to make a delicious iced macchiato at home.
Keyword iced macchiato
Prep Time 5 minutes

Equipment

  • Glass
  • Espresso Brewer
  • Measuring Spoons

Ingredients

  • 2 Shots Espresso
  • 1-2 Teaspoons Milk
  • Ice
  • Vanilla Syrup

Instructions

  • Fill a tall glass with ice.
  • Brew two shots of espresso.
  • Pour one or two teaspoons of milk on top of the espresso.
  • Stir in vanilla syrup to taste.
  • Serve with a straw and enjoy!

How to Make an Iced Latte

Just like the iced macchiato recipe above, this iced latte recipe features an optional vanilla syrup. Feel free to take some creative liberties and skip this step or replace the vanilla syrup with another of your choosing.

Iced Latte

How to make a delicious iced latte at home.
Keyword iced latte
Prep Time 1 minute

Equipment

  • Glass
  • Espresso Brewer
  • Measuring Spoons

Ingredients

  • 1-2 Shots Espresso
  • 3-4 oz Milk
  • Ice
  • Vanilla Syrup

Instructions

  • Fill a tall glass with ice.
  • Brew one or two shots of espresso.
  • Pour espresso over ice into glass.
  • Pour 3 or 4 ounces of milk.
  • Stir in vanilla syrup to taste.

Caffeine Strength: Is an Iced Macchiato or Iced Latte Stronger?

The answer to this depends on where you decide to get your iced macchiato/iced latte. The iced latte at Starbucks contains two shots of espresso versus the Dunkin Donuts iced latte, which only has one.

Both Iced Macchiatos from Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts have two shots of espresso. So if you’re looking to try this drink, you’ll have similar experiences at both these coffee shops.

For the strongest possible coffee drink, try the iced latte-macchiato from Starbucks. This drink has an impressive three shots of espresso in it.

For the weakest drink, opt for the Dunkin Donuts iced latte.

Macchiato vs. Latte vs. Cappuccino

While all three of these coffee drinks are made with espresso, there are some key differences.

A cappuccino is typically made of equal parts espresso, steamed milk, and foam while a latte is made with more milk and typically has lower caffeine content.

A macchiato, on the other hand, is an espresso drink that is “marked” with a dollop of milk foam. This frothed milk rests on top of the espresso and is usually much less milky than a latte.

FAQ

What’s the point of an iced macchiato?

An iced macchiato is prepared differently than a hot macchiato, and we can’t help but wonder what the point of it is. However, we’ll try our best to answer this question as best as possible.

The bottom line is that an iced macchiato just tastes like an iced latte that hasn’t been as thoroughly mixed. Starbucks attempts to distinguish these two drinks by only offering an iced caramel macchiato on their regular menu.

At Dunkin’ Donuts, the iced latte is distinguishable from the iced macchiato by the number of shots. The iced latte has only one shot, and the iced macchiato has two espresso shots.

Does a latte or macchiato have more espresso?

It depends on where you get your drink from. The iced latte and iced macchiato at Starbucks both have two espresso shots.

The iced latte at Dunkin’ Donuts only has one shot of espresso, while their iced macchiato has two.

Are macchiatos good?

This is subjective to the individual. We all have different tastes. Yes, if you like sweet drinks, an iced caramel macchiato from Starbucks sounds great!

Are you supposed to stir an iced macchiato?

No, the iced macchiato is not meant to be stirred. If you stir it, you’ve essentially turned it into an iced latte.

Are you supposed to shake a macchiato?

No, it would be best not to stir or shake your macchiato. The point of a macchiato is to have a “marked” or “stained” drink. By mixing the ingredients, you’ve destroyed the whole point of the drink.

Final Thoughts

That’s all there is to it! Whether you prefer an iced macchiato vs an iced latte, we hope this article has provided helpful details.

If you have any questions about the article above, feel free to leave a comment and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

We’re also open to suggestions on what you would like to see from us next. As always, thanks for reading!

Want to learn more about coffee? Check out these posts:

Iced Coffee vs. Iced Latte

Iced Americano vs. Iced Coffee

The Affogato Shot Explained

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