Espresso Macchiato: How to make it like the Italians

Espresso Macchiato is one of the most contested drinks in café history. Here in Oz, you can be served it in a million different ways with baristas often plonking down something that looks a lot more like a glass of milk with a shot of espresso than an espresso macchiato. But what’s the authentic (read Italian) way of preparing an Espresso Macchiato?

Naturally it’s all about personal preference, but in Australia, an Espresso Macchiato is most often interpreted as more of a mini foamy flat white. An espresso glass holds about 60ml of coffee. Obviously that’s quite a strong shot of caffeine all on its own, so Aussie baristas preparing an Espresso Macchiato will make a classic espresso, which is about 20ml of coffee then top the rest of the glass up with foamy milk. In that way, the ratio is inverted, so you have more milk than espresso, but it’s an infinitely milder drink if you’re not used to the strong and intense flavour of an espresso.

But that is most definitely not how they prepare it in Italy. When we first arrived in Florence, Espresso Macchiatos were not on the menu. For starters, ordering an Espresso Macchiato is a little redundant. You really only need to ask for a Macchiato. The barista won’t ask you how you like it. They’ll just prepare it the way they always prepare it – 20ml of really short espresso and a teaspoon of warmed foamy milk to soften the edges and sweeten out the coffee flavour so you don’t need to add sugar. It can be a little disappointing when your tiny shot glass of half filled coffee arrives at the bar counter, but that’s a true Macchiato. Plus they only cost €1.10 at a bar in Italy unlike the upwards of $5 you’d pay for a Macchiato in Australia, which softens the blow a bit.

You don’t need to be a barista to make an Espresso Macchiato at home and if you’ve never had a true one then we definitely recommend you give it a go at home. Unlike cappuccinos, lattes or (heaven forbid) flat whites, you can enjoy a Macchiato at any time of the day or evening. There’s no stigma to getting one, so feel free to order as many as you like next time you’re in Italy.


We’re using Gran Caffé Garibaldi Gusto Top for our Macchiato. The end notes of cloves, lemon and chocolate add the perfect sweetness. Plus it’s 100% Arabica, which means you get a really nice and intense espresso with plenty of smoothness. 

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Making an Espresso Macchiato at home in 5 easy steps:

  1. Okay, so to make an Espresso Macchiato at home, you need your coffee pod machine warm and ready. Pour some boiling water into a small espresso shot glass and set it aside.
  2. Froth about 100ml of milk. You definitely won’t need it all, but it’s easier to froth a larger amount. If you don’t have a milk frother, you can achieve the same result with hot milk and a hand blender. 
  3. Brew your espresso. Tip out the hot water and remember to tilt your espresso glass as the coffee pours out to get the perfect crema. You should only brew 20ml or 2 tablespoons of espresso. If you want to add sugar, you can. 

We serve our Espresso Macchiato in an espresso shot glass as they do in Italy. It’s a super short drink, not something you linger over with a magazine. It’s a hit of espresso and a touch of milk that most Italians will drink standing up at the bar before they head back to the office. 

4. Now that you have all the elements. Stir your milk to combine the foam and milk, then add one teaspoon to the top of your espresso. Don’t stir it. You should be able to see the milk leave a mark on the surface of the brown crema. Macchiato literally means ‘mark’ in Italian. 

5. Serve your Macchiato with a spoon so the person drinking it can decide whether they want to stir in the milk or not. 


If you want to make an Espresso Macchiato, topped up: Brew 20ml of espresso in an espresso glass, which is about 100ml and top with hot milk. 

If you want to make an Espresso Macchiato Lungo, grab a latte glass and brew 20ml of espresso then top with frothed milk. You might want to make it a double espresso for strength!

4 Christmas Cocktail Recipes with Coffee

Christmas cocktail recipe

Christmas is all about the parties and we’ve got four incredible Christmas cocktail recipes that will make you the belle (or beau) of the ball.

We’ve put on our mixologist hat and prepared a couple of Christmas cocktail recipes that are not only festive, but have a true hit of caffeine to keep you partying through the night… because everything is better with coffee. Everything.

From Italian classics to somewhat more peculiar concoctions that evoke the holiday season, these four Christmas cocktail recipes are quick, easy and delicious. The three adjectives that every party planner wants to hear. So raise a glass for us and enjoy the countdown to 2018.

From all of us at L’Emporio Australia, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year.


Christmas cocktail recipe


Christmas cocktail recipe


Christmas cocktail recipe


Christmas cocktail recipe

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The Ultimate Last Minute Guide to Gifts for Coffee Lovers

Christmas is just around the corner, but there’s still time to treat someone special with something they’ll treasure all year round.

Let’s put our cards on the table. We know coffee isn’t the most exciting gift, but a gift box full of caffeinated treats and knick knacks is something they’ll enjoy in December and January and February and all the months of 2018 when the only thing getting them out of bed on a Monday morning is the thought of an authentic Italian espresso. We’re not saying that. Every meme on the internet is!

So if you’re stuck on what to buy this Christmas, we’ve got a last minute caffeinated guide for gifts for coffee lovers from Him, to Her, to Mum, to Dad and that Friend/Colleague you pulled out of the Secret Santa hat!

All you need to do is buy a nice box, grab some tissue paper and a nice ribbon and fill it with a few good things from our list of gifts for coffee lovers!






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Win A Gourmet Coffee Pack, On Us

order before December 17 for your chance to win

Just in time for Christmas, our holiday prize pack contains 80 pods of limited edition gourmet coffee pods from Gran Caffè Garibaldi. These pods aren’t available in Australia and are compatible with all Delonghi/Breville Nespresso coffee machines.

Our holiday prize packs includes 4 unique gourmet blends:

Selezione 1860: 100% Arabica with notes of milk chocolate and candied orange. The beans are sourced exclusively from small producers in Papua New Guinea for a soft, velvety espresso.

Gusto Oro: Made with Arabica beans from Central America, this blend has a touch of East African Robusta for an aromatic intensity. It has a pleasant fruity end note with sweet hints of toasted almonds and honey.

Gusto Dolce: A blend of beans from small producers in South and Central America combined with Asian Robusta beans for strong and intense flavour. The aroma is fragrant with hints of spices and toasted notes. A slow and prolonged toasting gives great body and roundness.

Gran Cru: 100% Arabica. The red fruit notes of Ethiopian beans are blended with beans from Central America and Africa coffee for a soft and well-rounded flavour profile with aromas of citrus and cocoa.

Order before December 17 for your chance to win this prize pack!

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This holiday season


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3 Coffee Biscuit Recipes Perfect for Christmas

Italians aren’t particularly famous for being great dessert lovers. They’ll indulge in a gelato, a tiramisu or a cannoli or two, but most would rather have a nice, not too sweet, biscuit to round off their meal.

During the festive season, an array of holiday biscuits is a must in any Italian household. Layers of biscuits are artfully arranged on a glass serving tray and positioned in prime position on the coffee table to anxiously await the first visitors.

And when everyone is gathered, it’s not long before the host will ask “chi vuole un caffè?” (who wants a coffee?).

To celebrate this great Italian holiday tradition, we’ve put together a collection of not just our favourite biscuits to serve with coffee, but our favourite coffee flavoured biscuits to serve with coffee for a double hit of Christmas caffeine cheer.


A sweet twist on an Italian classic. Florentines are more like little candies than biscuits. They’re perfect with a bitter after-dinner espresso. We’ve made ours more festive with seasonal cranberries and pistachios.


  • 130g caster sugar
  • 70g honey
  • 70ml pouring cream
  • 100g pistachios
  • 70g dried cranberries
  • 150g dark chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons espresso


Combine sugar, honey and cream in a saucepan over high heat.

When the mixture reaches 170°C on a sugar thermometer, add the pistachios and cranberries. 

Place a lightly oiled 3cm-round cookie-cutter on an oven tray lined with baking paper, place 1 tbsp of Florentine mixture in the cutter and press with the back of a spoon to fill evenly. Repeat and leave to cool. 

Melt the dark chocolate and espresso in the microwave in short bursts. Use a spoon to coat the backs of the Florentines and leave to harden. 


The traditional Italian after-dinner biscuit is made to be dipped into a cappuccino or latte. During the holiday season, Italians never invite friends or family over without having a plate of these cantucci on hand. It just wouldn’t be a party without them.


  • 50g hazelnuts
  • 50g chocolate chips
  • 100g butter, softened
  • 100g caster sugar
  • eggs
  • 2 tbsp espresso
  • 350g plain flour
  • 1½ tsp baking powder


Beat butter and sugar in an electric mixer. Add eggs and coffee and beat to combine. Add the remaining ingredients

Divide in half and roll into 2 logs. Place on a baking paper-lined tray and bake for 20 minutes.

Cool, then slice thinly. Bake until light golden.


Okay, so gingerbread are German, but who says they can’t take a little Mediterranean vacation? The coffee intensifies the spices, while the dark honey gives these biscuits a delicious colour. Use a lighter honey, for lighter biscuits.


  • 350g plain flour
  • 110g chilled butter, diced
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp each ground cloves and ground allspice
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 60g dark honey
  • 30g espresso
  • egg


Process flour, butter, spices and baking powder, and a generous pinch of salt in a food processor to form fine crumbs. Add dark honey, coffee and egg and process until mixture comes together. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat oven to 180C and line baking trays with baking paper. Roll out gingerbread dough. Cut out shapes with biscuit cutters, transfer to baking trays and bake until edges start to darken (6-8 minutes). Cool.

9 easy coffee drinks to make with your Nespresso machine

You’re craving a coffee drink, but don’t necessarily feel like an espresso. So you head over to your Nespresso pod machine and realise it only has two setting: short and long. Not one to be defeated by a kitchen robot, you get creative. Or rather, we’ve gotten creative. The sky’s the limit when it comes to the coffee drinks you can make with your Nespresso pod machine. All you need is a little imagination and some good Italian coffee.

So grab your Italian Nespresso capsules and follow us as we travel the globe for the best and easiest coffee drinks you can make with nothing more than your Nespresso machine at home. Whether you feel like something sweet or prefer your coffee with a hit of something boozy, this is the guide for you.


It has a bad rap, but the Americano is a great way to make a great espresso go further. So instead of knocking it back in one slurp, you can savour it without having to add any milk.

coffee cocktails

It’s the age old request: Coffee or tea? But why choose, when you can have a yuanyang? The drink comes from the Chinese word for mandarin ducks, a symbol of conjugal love in Chinese culture.

easy coffee drinks

Double espressos are for wimps. This very American concept takes the classic Italian espresso and triples it because three’s a crowd in everything except coffee.

coffee drinks

Such an elegant name for what is basically coffee and cream. The name is all French, but this sweet delight actually hails from Switzerland and Austria, where it a cafe favourite.

coffee drinks recipes

Thought to have been created by the Spanish when they invaded Cuba, the carajillo was a sophisticated shot of liquid courage that’s packed with all the flair you’d expect from Latin America.

popular types coffee

It’s the coffee of the moment and it’s damn easy to make. Just crack open a pod, pour it in a jug with cold water and leave to soak overnight. The next morning you’ll have iced coffee that actually tastes like coffee.

list different types of coffee

A trip to India via Italy. The dirty chai is a chai latte’s smack-talking street cousin. It packs a punch and the espresso is a great complement to the spicy notes of cardamom and cloves.

how to make different types of coffee

There’s spiders and then there’s the German coffee spider known as Eiskaffee. This one is strictly for the adults with enough sugar and caffeine to keep you awake into next week.

coffee types chart

When it Rome, add cacao and frothed milk to your espresso. The macchiato is the coffee drink your hipster friends order when they’re too cool for a cappuccino.

types of coffee

A guide to Italy’s regions through coffee

Coffee come to Italy in a roundabout way. In 1683, Vienna was liberated from the Ottomans with a lot of help from the Republic of Vienna. When they fled, the Ottomans abandoned about 500 bags of coffee. Coffee found its way first into Venice and then spread like wildfire throughout the rest of the country.

We all know about the espresso, but Italy is more than a one trick pony. You can travel the country’s 20 regions and try a different coffee delicacy in each one. In Venice, coffee tends to be well-rounded and aromatic, with notes of an oriental vanilla fragrance. In Milan, it’s light, delicate and fine, designed to drunken quickly before heading into the office.

This is our homage to Italy’s lesser known coffee specialities and the cities and regions they’re famous for.




We’re starting at the foot of the country in Naples for one very special reason. Naples is the home of the espresso as we know it. Intense, dark, persistent and short, the Neapolitan form of the espresso is known locally as tazzulella ‘e cafè. It’s a shock to the system, so it’ll always be served with a glass of water on the side.

Naples is also home to Italy’s sweetest, if far less common, tradition. The ‘caffè sospeso’. It’s where you buy two coffees, but only drink one, leaving the other for a stranger to drink for free!

Where to order a coffee:

You really can’t go past the Caffè Gambrinus, Naples’ oldest coffeehouse and homage to Art Nouveau’s Belle Epoque. Order a rum babà alongside your coffee for the complete Neapolitan experience.

What else to see:

  • The main piazza and its spectacular Royal Palace
  • The gulf of Naples from the Castel dell’Ovo at Porto Santa Lucia
  • The Renaissance and Baroque paintings of the Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte


Sicily is hot, exotic and intoxicating… and so is its signature coffee. The caffè d’u parrinu is an Arabic-inspired coffee flavoured with cloves, cinnamon and cocoa powder. Uniquely for the region, it’s often served cold with whipped cream to help you get through those Arabian summers by the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.

Where to order a coffee:

Caffè Sicilia in Ragusa was voted Sicily’s best bar for 2017. The family-owned coffeehouse has been churning out the island’s best brews alongside creamy ricotta cannoli for more than 30 years.

What else to see:

  • The Salt Flats in Trapani, where you will still see salt being made in the traditional way.
  • The Temple of Concord in Agrigento
  • The Town of Noto, a Unesco World Heritage site thanks to its exemplary Baroque Architecture


The Eternal City and capital, Rome is the place to go for every coffee under the sun from an Americano to Cappuccino, but the Romans like theirs simple and understated. The macchiato is a cornerstone of Italian coffee culture, the meeting place between an espresso and cappuccino and the local’s cheeky little excuse to drink a milk-laced coffee after 11am.

A macchiato is rich, dark and enticingly creamy with just enough milk foam to sweeten the brew and stop you from reaching for that sugar bowl.

Where to order a coffee:

The ridiculously tiny and ludicrously lit Sant’Eustachio is generally considered by the locals as Rome’s best bar. They have a long standing and rigorously guarded secret brew that’s called the gran caffe. 

What else to see:

  • The Pantheon
  • The Borghese Gardens
  • The Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana, an excellent example of Fascist architecture

Le Marche

We’ve tackled the main Italian cities, so now we’re going native with a lesser known corner of Eastern Italy, Le Marche. Famous for shoemaking, the region dips its toes in the Adriatic Sea. It’s a different slice of Italy with a very different coffee culture. The caffè anisette is a fragrant aniseed-flavoured espresso. The aniseed is incredibly warming, making it perfect for a winter’s morning.

Where to order a coffee:

Moldavia Dal 1920 has been churning out coffees since, well, 1920. Here they do it with flourish and a profiterole on the side.

What else to see:

  • The impressive Roman site of Urbisaglia provides free tours of its frescoes, theatre and amphitheatre
  • Beautiful coastline and beaches at the foot of Mount Conero
  • The bustling and perfectly preserved medieval town of Sarnano, named one of the most beautiful in Italy


High up in the North, Trentino is cold and snowy. Here the sentiment is very Austrian. In fact, the locals speak a mean German, which is probably why they opt for a ‘cappuccino Viennese’ over an espresso almost every time. Order one of these and you’ll be served a delicious frothy coffee with chocolate and cinnamon. Perfect for a break on the slopes

Where to order a coffee:

La Chicchera in Mori isn’t just Trentino’s best coffeehouse, it’s one of Italy’s. The owners are former Italian coffee champions, so you know they make a mean brew to serve alongside their homemade brioche.

What else to see:

  • Toblino Castle, charming castle on an island in the middle of a lake
  • Trento’s Piazza Duomo
  • Peio’s hot springs

Can’t get to Italy right this minute? Order a couple of boxes of our Italian Nespresso compatible pods to tide you over and experiment making these regional delicacies in your Aussie kitchen!

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Valentine’s Day Gifts for Her: Coffee Lovers Edition

Love is in the air and it smells like Italian coffee! We at L’Emporio have put together our favourite gifts for the coffee loving lady in your life. Whether she’s your one and only, your blend loving BFF or that barista who just gets you – choose one or a few and consider yourself the perfect Valentine.

Deluxe Italian coffee pack

130 pods, all our Italian coffees, so she can have a cup and think of you every morning, afternoon and night for at least the next three weeks… depending on how just much she loves coffee!


Travel mug

Because sometimes (okay almost all the time), she’s in too much of a hurry to stop for coffee. Now she can think of you every time she’s getting from A to B, coffee in hand.


Donation to UN women

When you empower a woman, whole communities benefit. When women earn an income and have a seat at decision-making tables, they create more peaceful societies and more productive economies. UN Women leads the largest movement to accelerate gender equality and women’s empowerment in nearly 100 countries around the world. So this Valentine’s Day, make a donation in the name of your thoughtful girl to make the lives of women better everywhere.

from $48,

Mini milk frother

The perfect gift for the girl who loves coffee, but only with perfectly frothed milk! Cappuccino has never been so stylish.


French bonbons

Forget about the heart shaped samplers or baci chocolates, traditional French bonbons de chocolat are petite, refined and delicieux. Who said Italians and French can’t get along? In fact, there’s nothing better than coffee except for coffee and a champagne bonbon… or three.


I love you more than coffee (almost) card

Show your coffee heroes that you care with one hell of a declaration (whether it’s true or not) from our friends at La La Land.


Caribbean coffee candle

Why just stop at just drinking coffee? It’s breakfast next to bed with this coffee scented candle from Little Finch & Co. Serve it up with a cup of espresso each morning for the true meaning of synergy.


Budding up to a Gimoka barista

It’s 2017 and we’re grumbling our way back to work after the holidays. Well, not all of us. Alessandro from Gimoka’s home cafe on Lake Como and is pretty chuffed about his job. Making coffee for beautiful women all day ain’t that bad, he says. We caught up with him on our recent trip to Italy and chatted not about the ladies, but about the coffee culture in Italy and the perfect espresso. Here’s what he had to say.

Alessandro, you’ve been working at Gimoka’s Como café for almost 4 years, tell us, is the Italian love of coffee a stereotype or do the locals really obsess over their cup of Jo?

Coffee is quintessentially Italian. In America, there is a huge push for flavoured coffees, for beans that taste like chocolate and almonds and strawberries, but in Italy, the emphasis is still on an espresso that is made well and well, tastes like coffee.

What do you mean, tastes like coffee?

The perfect Italian coffee is hot, bitter and short. The flavour notes are subtle and accent the coffee rather than hide the flavour of the beans. If I want a coffee that tastes like chocolate, I’ll eat a piece of chocolate with my espresso. I don’t need to combine the two with artificial flavourings and sweeteners.

We’re a little biased, but we don’t think the perfect espresso necessarily needs to be made by a barista like yourself. What do the Italians think?

There are some terrible baristas out there, I’m not one of them (lol), so I agree. You can have terrible coffee at a bar and you can have terrible coffee at home. It’s all about the products you’re using and how you go about making your coffee. Italians don’t exclusively drink espressos at the local bar. They know how to make a good espresso at home.

Now Alessandro, a few barista tips for making that perfect espresso at home? 

Ah, well it’s not all about the machine. You don’t need to go out and buy a really expensive machine. Whether you’re using pods or beans, it’s about understanding your machine’s capabilities and following a few general rules. Always let your machine heat up, never use a cold glass, don’t pull too much coffee and remember to tilt the glass as it pours out for the perfect cream.

You work at Gimoka, but you can still be honest with us. How do Italians feel about coffee pods? 

Italians have embraced them almost more than anywhere else in the world. They’re a convenient way to get a consistently good coffee. Italians drink 3-4 coffees a day, so they know what a good coffee tastes like. They hold their coffee brands to the highest standard and companies like Gimoka know that. They’re not going to sell them a substandard product. They’re going to make pods that deliver on an authentically good Italian espresso, otherwise they would have gone out of business years ago.

Favourite Gimoka coffee?

The one everyone at the café always asks for, Gimoka’s Intenso. It might be the red packaging, but it’s the local favourite. I like how intense it is (hence the name Intenso). It packs a real punch. It’ll wake you up with its richness and bitterness. It’s a medium roast, so it’s dark, but you don’t get those almost burnt notes that turn some people off a traditional dark roast. It holds its own when you add a drop of milk or when making a cappuccino, which is nice. I don’t like watered down coffee.

So you drink cappuccinos? 

Sure! Most Italians have them for breakfast, although I make a few in the afternoon here at the café too and I’ve never yelled at someone for ordering one after 11am. Milk isn’t coffee’s enemy. A cappuccino can be as delicious as an espresso, especially if you’re not a heavy hitting coffee drinker and some Italians aren’t. I still wouldn’t add sugar though. Italians never add sugar to their coffees.

Ever been to Australia?

No, but I would love to go. Australians sometime stop by the café and they say places like Sydney and Melbourne have amazing cafés. I’d love to try the Aussie take on coffee. See whether it shapes up to ours!

You can visit Alessandro at Gimoka’s in-house café on Lake Como. 



Christmas coffee cocktail recipe: Caffè Siciliano

This week’s coffee cocktail is another Italian classic. It lives and breathes the ’50s. Basically, if we could marry this cocktail, we would. It’s that sophisticated and smooth and graceful.

The Caffè Siciliano is named after the place that invented it. It’s an after dinner cocktail, but it has none of the sweetness you’d expect. A combination of amaro (the go to Italian herbal liqueur), Grand Marnier and sugar syrup, it’s bitter, but refreshing. Kind of like a Christmas martini. You serve it with a orange draped on the side and channel your inner Mad Men.

We’re using Gran Caffe Garibaldi’s Gusto Top blend for this one. It’s our high-end coffee, so you know it goes down a treat here. You want the coffee to stand up to the liqueurs, which is why we’re using the cold brew technique. It preserves the coffee’s aroma better than a hot espresso that’s been chilled to room temperature. You can get our cold brew recipe here.


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