Iced Macchiato vs. Iced Latte: The Ultimate Recipe & Difference

One large iced macchiato, please.” Such words have formed a familiar, confident line whenever I find myself at a coffee shop.

But for quite some time, I had all mixed up about iced coffee, particularly iced macchiato and iced latte. With almost that same aesthetic look, who can blame me?

After trying to understand the differences, my knowledge about coffee has evolved through time. Exploring the hot and iced versions has become a habit that is hard to break.

Now, I am so confident in what I know that I am ready (whew!) to give you a comparison. Iced macchiato vs. iced latte – how are they different?

And as a bonus, I’ll share the recipes for both iced coffees, which you can conveniently make at home. Wouldn’t that save you extra trips to the coffee shop and, of course, some extra bucks? 

iced macchiato vs. iced latte
What’s the difference between iced macchiato and iced latte?

Iced Macchiato vs. Iced Latte: Which is Stronger?

If you’re not a certified coffee enthusiast, you can easily get confused when looking at a coffee shop’s menu. You have probably thought of asking the barista, but then again, maybe you are too shy. 

After reading this post, you can probably say goodbye to those bewildering moments. Perhaps, the next problem you’ll have is where to get your ingredients and equipment so you can make your very own version of iced coffee. 

Notably, the ultimate difference between an iced macchiato and an iced latte lies in the caffeine amount of the coffee used. However, extra ingredients can also help you easily distinguish one drink from the other.

iced macchiato and iced latte
The main difference between iced macchiato vs. iced latte is their caffeine content.

In terms of the extra caffeine kick, the iced macchiato is the winner. It is mostly coffee dispensed over milk.

The process is simple. Pour whole milk into a glass, add ample ice, and then top it off with two shots of espresso. 

As the espresso mixes with the liquid, you’ll see a marble effect that is both pleasing and relaxing. The different layers also seem to evoke a different coffee drinking experience. 

On the other hand, the iced latte is more on the milky side. Though thoroughly mixed, the larger volume of milk, compared to coffee, still overpowers the bitter taste. 

The process is quite different as well. The first ingredient to hit the glass is the single shot of espresso, followed by milk, and then topped with ice. 

Unlike the iced macchiato, wherein the color of each ingredient is distinctive in the first few minutes, an iced latte comes off with a single milky coffee color. 

How about the milk?

If you compare iced macchiato vs. iced latte, you will find out that the latter uses low-fat milk while the former uses whole milk.

Aside from the amount of coffee used and the layering of ingredients, another notable difference lies in the type of milk used. 

Iced macchiato uses whole milk and cream. The end product is commonly presented with syrups and whipped cream on top. 

The iced latte recipe, meanwhile, uses low-fat milk. One might opt for a foamed milk topping or have it as a bare combination of espresso, milk, and ice. 

Now, if you have a preference for milk, you can let your barista know before preparing your order. For instance, if you’re a vegan, you can request an oat milk alternative. 

Now, for the more exciting part –the recipes!

iced macchiato and iced latte
Iced macchiato vs. iced latte: The Recipe

Iced macchiato vs. iced latte – if you haven’t yet determined which one makes your day brighter, you’d probably be interested in trying them both. A few tries at the coffee shop might cost you a lot, so why not opt for a DIY?

As a coffee lover, you’ll probably find the ingredients needed in your kitchen. But if not, a quick trip to your local grocery will do. 

First, let’s talk about the iced macchiato 

iced macchiato
At a glance, there seems to be no difference between iced macchiato vs. iced latte.

Generally, it is more potent than an Iced Latte, which means you’ll need less milk than coffee. Here’s what you need.

  • 60ml of whole milk (a quarter cup)
  • Two shots of homemade or commercial espresso
  • Ice cubes

1. Get a tall glass (it’s not a sin to make it as sophisticated as possible). Pour the whole milk into that glass.

2. Put in the ice cubes. Make sure you have enough to cool the milk –you must avoid adding too many, or they will overflow. 

3. Pour the espresso shots on top. It is your finisher. 

You’ll know right away if you have done a good job. You’ll see the espresso shots spiralling down and creating that marvellous marble effect as they mix with the lighter milk. 

The good news is that you can get more experimental as you go. Ever heard about the iced caramel macchiato?

If you want your macchiato to be on the sweeter side, you must top it off with vanilla syrup and caramel drizzle. Now, how about that for version 2.0?

Now, for Latte lovers out there!

iced latte
Comparing iced macchiato vs. iced latte, it is evident that the latter has less caffeine content.

Again, if you prefer a milky coffee, you might have the Iced Latte as your top choice. It contains more milk and has lower fat content, too. 

Since this iced coffee needs only a single shot of espresso, it is ideal for drinkers who don’t like the overbearing taste of coffee. Furthermore, it uses fewer ingredients and is quick to prepare, too!

For an Iced Latte recipe, you will need to prepare the following:

  • Espresso (single shot)
  • 180ml of cold milk (about ¾ cup)
  • Ice cube

1. Use your preferred glass and pour your espresso shot. 

2. Add in the milk. Do it slowly and with grace to avoid spills. 

3. Top it off with ice cubes. The coffee will cool down nicely. 

And there you have it! It wouldn’t even break a sweat, right? 

Because the espresso has been put in before the milk, you won’t need to do a thorough mixing. That is why you get a single milky colour in contrast with the iced macchiato colours that have a striking effect. 

Iced Macchiato vs. Iced Latte: The Verdict

iced latte

The scorching summer temperature is not a problem for coffee lovers, especially now that there are different variations of iced coffee. And, without a doubt, iced macchiato and iced latte fight for the number 1 spot. 

But really, should one be considered superior over the other? There’s no such thing as “one size fits all” when it comes to coffee.

I prefer iced macchiato because of that extra kick, and maybe most of your friends, too. However, it doesn’t mean you have to pick the same. 

Remember, when it comes to your iced coffee, you have the freedom to try everything you want. You can stick to your favourite or take a breath of fresh air from time to time by exploring other iced coffee recipes