Caramel Macchiato vs Latte

7 min read FEB 17, 2022

Many coffee drinkers have recently found themselves intrigued as to what the difference between a caramel macchiato and a caramel latte is. Look no further if you're curious as to what all the hype is about as the difference between the two will give you insight into which coffee will be your next go-to order.

Searching for recipes to make at home and even sugar and calorie-free options can be a daunting task. Luckily we’ve got you covered with ingredients, how they're made, nutritional information, and different variations of the all-famous macchiato.

What’s the Difference Between a Caramel Macchiato and a Caramel Latte?

Before we can understand the difference between a caramel macchiato and a caramel latte, we need to have an understanding of the original macchiato and latte. A macchiato and a caramel macchiato, although having similar names, are not the same drink. 

A macchiato originates from Italy and is a simple drink consisting of one espresso shot in a small cup, with a dollop of foam from steamed milk served on top. 

A latte is made from a single or double shot of espresso which is combined with milk to create a rich, creamy drink that has a more subtle taste of espresso.

The main differences between the caramel macchiato and caramel latte come from the flavors used and the method of how they're made. 

Differences in Ingredients And How They Are Made

Caramel Macchiato

caramel latte vs caramel macchiato

What is a caramel macchiato? A macchiato is an unsweetened beverage while the caramel macchiato caters to an audience with a sweeter tooth. The interesting fact about the caramel macchiato is that it’s not actually flavored with caramel syrup, but is rather sweetened with vanilla syrup.

The name comes from the caramel that is drizzled on the top. A caramel macchiato’s ingredients include pumps of vanilla flavor, steamed milk, shots of espresso into the milk, and it is then topped with flavored drizzle. Therefore, a caramel macchiato is essentially an upside-down vanilla latte with a caramel drizzle.

Either way, this delicious dessert-like drink has gained major popularity all over the world, for good reason.

Caramel Latte

caramel macchiato vs caramel latte

The caramel latte is a simpler drink as it's easy to make and is essentially the same as a latte but is sweetened with caramel syrup. Caramel lattes are made by using two pumps of flavor, then pouring the shots of espresso into the cup, and then lastly, adding the steamed milk.

A caramel latte has a more subtle, faint taste compared to the stronger, bolder flavors in the caramel macchiato.

Is a Caramel Macchiato or Latte Healthier?

If you’re health-conscious or just trying to cut back on a few extra calories, a sugar-free caramel macchiato isn’t difficult to make. Making your own caramel macchiato at home can sometimes be a healthier option as you can customize your drink to include sugar-free and low-calorie ingredients, however, it’s a personal preference whether you prefer to buy from a store or make it yourself. 

The same applies to caramel lattes as they generally contain more calories than your caramel macchiato, so some prefer to try out low-calorie options at home.

Calories in a Caramel Macchiato

Although a caramel macchiato is low in sugar, the average serving contains about 8g of sugar. The calories, however, are less than a caramel latte. There are approximately 75 calories in one serving. This includes 2.8g fat, 9g carbs, and 2.7g of protein. This makes a caramel macchiato an excellent choice of beverage, especially if you’re replacing the drizzle and vanilla with sugar-free alternatives or using a milk alternative like almond milk. 

Having a sugar-free caramel macchiato will make your morning routine guilt-free and leave you with plenty of energy throughout the day. If you can come across a low acid coffee, this will make it much easier on your stomach and won’t be so harsh on your teeth.

Lifeboost coffee offers a low acid caramel macchiato without the calories and sugar. Not only have their premium coffee beans been hand-selected, but Lifeboost coffee is good for the environment. So you can enjoy your morning drink without worrying about the climate impact.

difference between caramel macchiato and caramel latte

If you’re looking to try a caramel macchiato in the comfort of your own home, then these beans will ensure that you get a smooth and creamy result.

Calories in a Caramel Latte

A caramel latte is higher in calories compared to a caramel macchiato. The latte has approximately 122 calories in one serving. It also has 18g of carbs, 5.8g of sugar, 3.3g of fat, and 5.8g of protein.

If you don’t mind the extra calories, then a caramel latte is a delicious creamy beverage that will satisfy that sweet tooth. The latte can also come in a variety of different flavors such as chocolate and pumpkin spice. Other milk alternatives can also change the nutritional information of this beverage as alternatives such as almond milk will be lower in calories.

Different Variations of Macchiato and Latte

There are many variations of the macchiato which makes this type of coffee not only delicious but also an exciting journey to explore. A few of these variations include the keto caramel macchiato which is a low-carb coffee made with sugar-free caramel syrup, espresso, almond milk, and a pumpkin caramel macchiato which is essentially an iced caramel macchiato with caramel sauce and pumpkin spice.

If you prefer to have a latte instead of a macchiato, a keto caramel latte is just as good. It is made with espresso, sweetener, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, cinnamon, heavy whipping cream, caramel from a keto recipe, and vanilla extract.

A caramel macchiato ice cream is pretty self-explanatory but there's no better combination than coffee, caramel, and ice cream. A blended iced caramel macchiato is a decadent iced coffee that’s made from cream, buttery-rich caramel syrup, vanilla syrup, milk, ice, and, of course, espresso.

When it comes to making a coffee ice cream, whether it is a caramel latte ice cream or caramel macchiato ice cream, the ingredients are very similar. The ratio of caramel sauce may differ but either way, the espresso is the most important ingredient.

Last but not least we have the caramel hazelnut macchiato which is for all the hazelnut lovers out there. This is made from espresso, hazelnut syrup, caramel syrup, whipped cream, optional sea salt, and caramel drizzle to top it all off.

If you’re looking for a nutty version of a caramel latte, then you may want to try the caramel nut iced latte. This decadent icy coffee is made with espresso, hazelnut flavor, caramel sauce, ice, and milk. To top it all off, you can add whipped cream or ice cream and hazelnuts for a desert-like drink.

What is a Cloud Macchiato?

iced caramel latte vs iced caramel macchiato

Lately, there has been quite the hype around cloud macchiatos. If you’re wondering what these are and if it has anything to do with actual clouds, then the answer is yes.

If these cloud macchiatos are anything like what we would imagine a cloud to be like, then we can only imagine it to be a light, fluffy, melt-in-your-mouth type of drink which is exactly what it is. The trademark of this beverage is the “cloud” topping which is what gives it its name. 

It is highly suggested to find out How to Drink a Caramel Macchiato and start brewing one up as this aesthetically pleasing coffee will be one of your favorites. Made with cold milk foam, the consistency is similar to the meringue and has a subtle sweetness to it. This is topped off with a caramel drizzle cross-hatch which gives it its own signature look. 


While a caramel latte sounds like a decadent temptation, the caramel macchiato might be the better choice for someone with a caffeine craving as its bold, rich flavors are not only tasty but are lower in calories and come with a variety of different options.

Our suggestion would be to get some low-calorie caramel macchiato coffee beans and try out the recipe at home. This affordable option will keep you happy and satisfied and may even become part of your daily morning routine.

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