It is a small thing to ask, isn’t it, a decent caffè macchiato?
You would have thought so! But oh, how you can be setting yourself up for disappointment when you order one (at least here in the UK).
So, folks, as everyone knows, you do use a proper thick china espresso cup of the traditional shape (there’s a reason it’s traditional). Warmed, yes: but you don’t scald the cup first with boiling water. You most certainly don’t use some fancy “artisanal blend”, since they are mostly crap and too bitter and only suited to flavouring those milky drinks that the British seem to love (for straight espressos or macchiatos, they will be beaten hands down by Illy or Mokarabia or the other good Italian brands). You don’t make a mini-cappuccino: “macchiato” means “marked” or “stained”, not “drowned” — so two or three teaspoons of silky foamed milk is enough. And yes, for heaven’s sake, learn to make decently textured milk: filling the cup with wet bubbles is just evil. Do supply a proper coffee spoon so we can scrape the last remnants of crema from the cup (wooden sticks? no!!!). And do, without being asked, add an elegantly sized small glass of water (not a paper cup, not a half pint mug, not lukewarm, not lemon-flavoured, …).
Now, that wasn’t too difficult, was it?