arif macchiato 118 Comments


If you are like me… and like most people drinking coffee is an integral part of your daily routine. Be it one cup or five cups most of us drink at least once a day.

The few people I know that do not drink coffee; I call them decaffeinaterians, annoy me! I drink coffee first thing in the morning; and most of the time I don’t stop drinking till about early afternoon. I know that maybe a bit too much but my current office doesn’t have free coffee and I am been forced to decrease the input in my coffee.

The few days I am too tired or too behind schedule to brew my morning coffee… I pick it up from 7-11 or Starbuc {I say starbuc not Star Bucks).

Let’s get to the point of this post. I am sure most of you like Macchiatos Ethiopian style. For example, most Ethiopians haven’t had Cafe Americano before they left Ethiopia. Americano is the regular hot water drip coffee we buy in the US. The prevalence of American style coffee throughout the world is well I don’t know and I couldn’t find the details via Google.

I have had many types of coffees, including the ever popular Ethiopian style brewing as seen on bernos’ buna tee. I love the Turkish style infusion; I had the privilege of enjoying some 11 years ago when I had it at middle-eastern friends place. Cerve pronounced ‘Jez-veh’ is used to boil powdered beans and let tell settle before drinking.


A recent ‘fancy’ French restaurant served me coffee made with French press. I think it makes some really refined coffee, but the key to the French coffee is the freshness of the roast. Here in the US almost everyone buys roasted coffee, only a few of us do grind our coffee ourselves.

My favorite type of coffee has to be the Ethiopian style Macchiato, and no barista from Italy can make me the Macchiato the way I like. Ethiopian baristas since the days of Kebele 23 coffee shop have been making it the way; I started to drink between the ages of 8-11. Pictured scene above, enjoying my Macchiato at Dama Coffee & Bakery!

There is the pure Espresso, and there is the popular Cappuccino but the Caffè Macchiato is the middle ground and it’s the best. Caffè Macchiato is stained Espresso, the reason was according to how wiki describes it:

for the baristas to show the serving waiters the difference between an espresso and an espresso with a little milk in it; the latter was marked.”

the perfect ratio

There is a new trend; I haven’t seen this as Starbucks or any major chains but in a two city shops, one in the north side of Manhattan and in a small Shop in DC. They call it Latte macchiato but it’s basically a half a shot large Cappuccino. Not to be confused with a Misto or Café Au Lait, which is my sister’s favorite at Star Bucks, which is the Americano over milk.

The perfect Macchiato is not stained; it’s not dropped like the Portuguese. Its two tablespoons of at milk, and foam till it covers every surface of the serving dish.

There was a fantastic article of how the ratio of Espresso changes with the choice of serving paper cups at Starbucks.

A short and ‘Tall’ get one shot while a ‘Venti’ gets two shots of Espresso. Thus a ‘Venti’ is stronger that a Tall. A ‘Short’ which also comes with one shot is the strongest. A macchiato comes stained and bitter. I now have devised the best way to order a Macchiato at Star Bucks.

A short cappuccino has a 1 to 3 ratio; the latter being the steamed milk. Want you want to do is get to the 2 to 1 ration; you want twice the amount of Espresso to the milk to get to as close to the Ethiopian style as possible.

A Short double shot dry Cappuccino will get you 50/50. If you order it with extra foam or with room then the space needed will be fulfilled by the amount of steamed milk, and thus arriving to the perfectly blended Ethiopian style Macchiato.

118 Responses to “arif macchiato”

  1. 1 Mikematic

    La Cimbali

  2. 2 skande bande

    Search “ethiopian macchiato” or similar options on flikr. You’ll find amazing photos of your beloved drug from Addis

  3. 3 Nolawi

    thanks skande love this one

  4. 4 skande bande
  5. 5 munit

    nothing like Ethiopian Macchiato, it is just the BEST.

  6. 6 justme

    ohh, coffee lovers should go to addis and try every macchiato in different coffee shops. You will find Tomoka’s Macchiato is still the best.

  7. 7 Mitmita

    Thanks for the tip Nolawi! Of course I love arif macchiato like anybody else but being a coffee lover myself, I have to comment on your reference to Americano and drip coffee. They are two different things. An Americano is made with espresso shots mixed with hot water. And drip coffee, well that is the kind you make with a coffee brewer. I just wanted to clarify even thought your reference doesn’t have anything to do with main point of your blog.

    while I am at it, a french press actually uses really coarse grid. The reason you might taste the coffee grounds is because of the filter of french press. A press is a good way to do a coffee tasting. You can really taste the different flavors that are out there.

  8. 8 Mitmita

    I don’t think you have Peet’s Coffee and Tea in the East coast but if you ever go to the where they have Peet’s …try their traditional cappuccino ….it tastes so much like the macchiato’s in Ethiopia.

  9. 9 SELAM T

    Thanks Mitmita, It’s good to know.
    I had Ethiopian Macciato at one of the pricy place in Addis. Then I had Macciato at a small coffee shop (yemender) in Dire Dawa.
    The one I had in Dire Dawa was so much better, 100X better. It is one of the best Macciato ever but cost a fraction of the one in Addis.

    I will try Peets traditional cappuccino next time.

  10. 10 Ethio Jazz

    Not a coffee person at all but, I love macchiato especially the ones in Addis. Like Justme, I love Tomoka’s macchiato the best followed by Peacock’s.

  11. 11 justme BACK…!

  12. 12 Nolawi

    how come noone said anyting about my machiato pic.. in the middle?

  13. 13 Biz

    I had one of those drinks when I was out there back last November. The amount of sugar they put into that tiny cup is dangerous. On the other hand, the coffee my mom made is priceless: no sugar, no milk…just coffee.

  14. 14 hilarious

    what about buna be kibe? from back home? the only time we drink it was when we were sick…ahhh

  15. 15 Barbara

    An Ethiopian style Macchiato sounds amazing. I’m going to have to order it like you suggest.

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