What Is an Iced Macchiato?

6 min read MAY 04, 2022

Coming in a variety of different flavors and forms, the iced macchiato is one of the most popular espresso-based drinks on the market today.

However, if you’re new to coffee, you might be asking yourself: what is an iced macchiato?

In this article, we’ll take a brief look at what an iced macchiato is, how it’s made, and, hopefully in the process, show you why this delicious and refreshing drink rose to such high regard.

What this article covers:

What is Iced Macchiato?

Traditionally, a macchiato is a hot beverage that consists of espresso, to which steamed milk is added, that’s topped off with foam.

When this steamed milk is added to the espresso, it’s stained with white streaks of milk and so, this drink’s name is fitting considering the fact that macchiato is Italian for “stained.”

Today, a modern variation of this traditional drink has risen to popularity in the form of the iced macchiato which comes in a variety of different flavors. These include the ever-popular iced chocolate macchiato and the iced vanilla macchiato.

iced macchiato vs iced latte

By using flavored beans like our Caramel Macchiato Coffee Beans, you can cut out a lot of the hard work and get straight to your drink. All you need to do is brew the coffee as usual and add your textured and foamed milk and–hey presto– you’ve got a caramel macchiato in minutes.

So let’s take a quick look at the ingredients you need to make a plain iced macchiato and, ultimately, how these ingredients are used to produce this tasty end result.


To make an iced macchiato, you’ll need the following ingredients:

  • Ground coffee beans to brew two espresso shots (we recommend our dark roast coffee for any coffee fanatic)
  • Cold milk
  • Ice


As you might have deduced from the short list of ingredients, making an iced mocha is fairly straightforward.

The first step is brewing your espresso to your desired strength. While this process is underway, fill a cup up with ice and pour your cold milk until just above the halfway mark of the cup.

After letting your espresso cool down in the fridge for about 10 minutes, add the two espresso shots to your milk and ice mixture. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider adding flavored syrup to the mixture and topping it all off with whipped cream glazed with some more syrup.

By using a flavored syrup, you can make everything from an iced caramel macchiato to a hazelnut macchiato.

The final step in this process is to sit back, relax, and enjoy your fresh home-brewed iced macchiato.

Iced Macchiato vs Iced Latte

Today, there are so many iced espresso drinks on the market that it can be difficult to distinguish between the different options on this seemingly infinite list. The difference between an iced macchiato and an iced latte is one that has eluded, and continues to elude, coffee newbies.

This confusion is understandable as these two drinks are essentially made in the same way, and even appear quite similar, but the fact is that they use slightly different ingredients.iced macchiato vs latteSo let’s take a look at the differences and similarities between an iced macchiato and an iced latte.


Iced lattes are generally a lot “lighter” than iced macchiatos in the sense that they are made not only with less coffee, but with coffee that’s generally weaker than what’s used in iced macchiatos. Thus, these two drinks differ significantly in their intensity.

Iced macchiatos are made predominantly of strong coffee poured over a little milk, but in iced lattes, less (and weaker) coffee is poured over more milk.

In addition to using more milk than macchiatos, the milk used in lattes is also generally lighter (low-fat or skim) than that used in macchiatos. This is because macchiatos are predominantly made with full-cream milk or even cream.


As can be seen above, despite the fact that slightly different ingredients are used in making an iced macchiato and an iced latte, they are still very similar.

The key similarities of these drinks are that:

  • Both use shots of espresso (albeit in different amounts) rather than coffee
  • Both have milk as their base (once again, albeit in different amounts)
  • Both use ice and so, both are very popular summertime drinks
  • Both differ from their hot counterparts.

With regards to the last similarity mentioned above, iced macchiatos differ from their hot counterparts in the sense that they use a lot more milk (even though it’s still less milk than used in iced lattes), and iced lattes from theirs in the sense that they used cold milk instead of steamed milk.

What is an Iced Latte Macchiato Then?

To make distinguishing between an iced macchiato and an iced latte just that extra bit more confusing, you’ll find that there is even an iced latte macchiato on the market.

As the name suggests, this drink is a hybrid of the iced macchiato and iced latte in the sense that it incorporates elements of both to form this tasty end result.

Iced latte macchiatos are focused more on milk than on coffee and so, they are made by adding a single shot of espresso to a glass of cold full-cream milk and ice.

As such, it’s clear that iced latte macchiatos contain a lot more milk than espresso (which is characteristic of an iced latte), but they are richer in taste in the sense that they use full-cream milk instead of low-fat milk (which is characteristic of an iced macchiato).

Iced Macchiato vs Iced Coffee

Above we dealt with the distinction between an iced macchiato and an iced latte. But are these two drinks not just two types of iced coffee, or is this an entirely different drink altogether? As you’ll see below, an iced macchiato and an iced coffee are two very different drinks.what is a iced macchiatoIced macchiatos and iced lattes are both made using shots of espresso that are added to different amounts of milk, the amount depending on which of the two drinks is in question. Iced coffee, on the other hand, is made with cold-brewed coffee or coffee that has been cooled down with ice and to which ice can, but does not have to, be added.

Thus, the most important difference between iced macchiatos and iced coffee is that the former is made using espresso, and the latter uses coffee. 

Furthermore, when making an iced macchiato, the espresso is added to the milk, but when making an iced coffee the milk is optional, and, in the case that it is used, the milk is added to the coffee.


We hope that reading all about iced macchiatos has left your mouth watering as much as ours in just talking about them.

Furthermore, having read this article, we’re sure that the next time you’re standing in the line at your local coffee house sifting through the overhead menu, you’ll be a little bit more informed on all the options at your disposal and a little less confused in picking the drink that starts of your day the right way.

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