Cappuccino or Macchiato

Today when you want a cup of coffee, it isn’t always simple. There are options that run the gamut, many with exotic names that are mysterious and hard to pronounce. Consider the difference between cappuccino and macchiato:

Cappuccino takes its name from the order of Franciscan Minor friars, named “cappuccini” for their hooded frock (“cappuccio” means “hood” in Italian). A cappuccino is an Italian coffee drink prepared with espresso, hot milk and steamed-milk foam. It may seem modern, but it is actually a beverage that has been served for over a hundred years, dating back to the early 1900’s.

Macchiato, pronounced mah-key-ah-toh, is an Italian word meaning “marked” or “stained.” Traditionally, a caffé macchiato or espresso macchiato is a shot or two of espresso, with just a small amount of steamed milk that “marks” the espresso, though in some regions, the steamed milk comes first and the espresso makes the mark.

The calories in these beverages can vary widely. So if you want to stay committed to maintaining your waistline, here is the scoop:

A 16-ounce cappuccino made with 2% milk has 120 calories versus the same size espresso macchiato, which has 10 calories – because it is just “marked” with milk froth. But beware! A plain macchiato is low in calories, but when you order a caramel or hazelnut macchiato, you are now at 240 calories because of the sugary syrup they use to flavor it. If you prefer cappuccino, you can save 30-40 calories by requesting skim milk. But as with all espresso drinks, adding special flavors means adding a lot of calories.

By Molly McBrayer, clinical manager, Roper St. Francis Bariatrics & Metabolic Services