Challenge #8: It’s mac time

If you’ve tried the “Add a drop” challenge, then the idea of ordering two espressos to compare an contrast should be something familiar. Here we go again, except this time it is not a drop of water that you should add but a drop of milk.

Back when I first started reviewing cafes, ordering a macchiato was how I would rank the cafe. It turns out that a mac is a fickle beast that depending on which state or country you find yourself in, results will vary GREATLY. In fact in some places your would not recognise the beverage you ordered as a mac, so let’s be a bit more specific on what I think a mac is.

Definition of Macchiato (traditional)
“Macchiato” is an Italian word meaning stain or mark, and thus when used to describe an espresso based beverage, the “stain” is a drop of milk. The volume of this drop is important as too much…. **cough** generosity will result in a piccolo latte, which surprisingly enough…. is not a macchiato. There are going to be variations on the temperature of the milk, the choice of foam/milk/both, however I would suggest that a teaspoon of textured milk is perfect, proving a little foam and milk forming a layer within the coffee.

N.B. If there is “latte art” on your mac, it is likely to have too much milk.

So why would you want a mac rather than an espresso? Well you tell me. It is a challenge after all.
Spot the difference

Goal: Order an espresso and a mac, and drink the espresso first.
Key points: Mac needs to be a mac, not a piccolo latte.
I’d recommend not adding sugar as it will likely mask any difference.
Challenge level: Piss easy
Questions: What did you notice about the difference?
Was the coffee you drank a single origin or a blend?
Did it taste over roasted?
Was it unpleasant?
Bonus Points: Rinse and repeat. Try the same challenge at a different cafe serving a different brand of coffee.

Try one of the other challenges

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