Walk inside. Look to see if they list a macchiato on their menu board. If it isn’t there, you can walk out now.
Get in line and wait for your turn to order.
When you reach the counter, if the word “macchiato” was not on their menu board and you stayed in line anyway, ask if they make a traditional macchiato. If they answer “yes,” ask to see the size of their macchiato cup. If it’s bigger than your fist, walk out now.
Place your order, as in “I’d like a macchiato, please.” If you have any special requests, now is the time to make them: triple or quad shot; almond/soy/hemp milk; to go (which is not the way to go, by the way – it tastes far better in the ceramic), etc.
Watch as your barista expertly pulls the espresso, and steams and froths the milk in the little stainless steel frothing pitcher.
Watch as the espresso and milk are placed (poured) in the macchiato cup.
Receive your macchiato from the barista. The tiny cup should come on a tiny saucer, with a tiny spoon for stirring or sipping from. Depending on the expertise of the barista, there may or may not be any “latte art” in the froth on top of your macchiato.
Pay for your macchiato and don’t forget to say thank you to the barista.
Savor and enjoy your drink. Some places make a traditional macchiato by placing the espresso in the little cup and spooning some frothed milk on top of it. This is also acceptable, but there probably won’t be any “art” in the froth because the froth used in this method is too foamy (too many bubbles) to allow for “artwork.”
I prefer the above macchiato-making method but keep in mind that not all coffee shops know how to make one this way. As long as it’s in a small cup, with a properly made shot or two of espresso and some frothed milk and/or foam, it should be what I call heaven in a cup.
Okay, so this is a tongue-in-cheek way to make a macchiato – unless you have a fairly decent espresso maker with a milk frother, it's probably the best way to get a tasty one. So head on out, be adventurous, and don't forget to ask questions. The barista might even ask you a question or two, such as "which single origin do you want" – just play along and ask them to surprise you with something. It might turn out to be something you'll like and will order it again and again! I know I do….