What’s the difference between a cold brew and a latte macchiato?

Cold brew coffee and latte macchiato are very different but both delish. Cold brew involves soaking coarsely ground coffee in cold or room-temperature water for up to a day. This makes a concentrate that’s smooth and not so acidic. You can drink it cold or add water or milk. On the other hand, a latte macchiato is made with a shot of espresso and steamed milk. It’s got a creaminess and layers with a hint of espresso flavor. The cold brew is loved for its bold, chilled taste. Meanwhile, a latte macchiato finds the perfect mix between strong espresso and sweet milk.

Key Takeaways

  • Cold brew is made by steeping coffee in cold or room-temperature water for 12-24 hours, resulting in a smooth, low-acidic concentrate.
  • Latte macchiato combines espresso and steamed milk, creating a creamy, layered coffee beverage with a balanced flavor profile.
  • Cold brew is known for its mellow and bold taste, while the latte macchiato features a blend of robust espresso and sweet milk.
  • Both cold brew and latte macchiato offer unique preparation methods and taste experiences for coffee enthusiasts.
  • The choice between the two beverages depends on personal preference and the desired coffee experience.

Understanding Cold Brew Coffee

The coffee world changed with the growing popularity of cold brew. It’s a process known for creating coffee that’s smooth, rich, and less acidic. This method is different from the usual hot brewing. Cold brew is made by soaking coffee grounds slowly, letting its full flavor develop.

Definition and Brewing Method

Cold brew coffee starts with soaking coarse coffee grounds in cold or room-temperature water. This brews for 12-24 hours. The long soaking time brings out a rich flavor. The result is a strong coffee that you can mix with water or milk for a cool drink.

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Ingredients and Extraction Process

To make good cold brew, pick high-grade coffee beans and use coarse-ground coffee. This type of grind helps to slowly pull out the coffee’s flavor. The coffee and water mix together and sit for a long time. This creates a deep and mellow coffee concentrate perfect for iced drinks.

Smooth and Low-Acidic Taste Profile

Cold brew coffee stands out for its unique taste. The slow brewing method keeps it from being too acidic. Instead, it tastes bold, rich, and smooth. It’s great for people who enjoy coffee but can’t handle the acidity of hot coffee.

cold brew coffee

Exploring the Latte Macchiato

The latte macchiato is a favorite coffee from Italy. Its name means “marked” in Italian. This describes how the milk is ‘marked’ by espresso in the drink. It’s made of a shot of espresso and steamed milk.

Origins and Meaning

The latte macchiato comes from Italy’s rich coffee tradition. The word “macchiato” reflects its special look. You can see the espresso ‘mark’ the milk in every sip.

Espresso and Steamed Milk Combination

A latte macchiato perfectly mixes strong espresso and smooth steamed milk. The barista adds espresso to a cup of milk. This makes the drink look layered and taste amazing.

Some people mix up the latte macchiato and espresso macchiato. But they’re different. The latte macchiato has more milk and a fine balance of milk and espresso.

Coffee Beverage Espresso to Milk Ratio Appearance Flavor Profile
Latte Macchiato 1 part espresso, 2-3 parts steamed milk Distinct layers of espresso and steamed milk Balanced blend of robust espresso and creamy steamed milk
Espresso Macchiato 1 part espresso, 1 part steamed milk Espresso with a “mark” of steamed milk Strong espresso flavor with a subtle touch of steamed milk


Cold brew coffee and latte macchiato offer different tastes and ways of making them. Cold brew is smooth and less acidic, making it a rich concentrate. On the other hand, the latte macchiato mixes strong espresso with creamy, frothy milk for a full coffee flavor.

People can choose what suits them best, adding sweeteners or flavored syrups, even milk substitutes. The final choice between cold brew and latte macchiato comes from personal taste and what kind of coffee you enjoy.

With many coffee types available, you can pick bold cold brew or the smooth latte macchiato. Trying these different coffees can make your coffee moments special. It’s all about finding what makes your coffee experience right for you.


What is the difference between a cold brew and a latte macchiato?

Cold brew coffee and latte macchiato are both special in their way. Cold brew involves soaking coffee grounds in cold water for about a day. This makes a strong, smooth drink without the usual coffee bitterness.On the other hand, a latte macchiato starts with espresso. Then, a good amount of steamed milk is carefully poured over the espresso. This creates layers, and it’s all blended to enjoy rich coffee with a silky feel.

What is cold brew coffee?

Cold brew coffee is not your regular cup of joe. It’s coffee made by soaking coarse coffee grounds in cold water. This slow process, lasting 12-24 hours, draws out a unique flavor. The result is a less bitter, smooth, but strong coffee.

What is a latte macchiato?

The latte macchiato comes from Italy, where “macchiato” means “marked.” It gets its name from how the espresso looks “marked” with milk. This drink is layers of smooth, creamy milk with a shot of espresso on top.
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Emily Reynolds

I am an unapologetic coffee aficionado with an insatiable passion for all things java. Pour-overs, French presses, espresso machines—each holds its own thrill, a chance to unlock new levels of taste and aroma. So let the aroma of freshly brewed coffee guide us through the world of flavor and inspiration that is coffee.

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