Macchiato coffee came into fashion in the 30s of the XX century. In Italy, espresso has just become popular, which it was customary to drink at lunchtime (in the morning, Italians love cappuccino). But many coffee shop customers ordered espresso with milk froth for lunch.
However, depending on the proportions and how the ingredients are mixed, you can make cappuccino or latte from espresso and milk. So that visitors do not have to explain for a long time exactly how much milk to add to coffee, the baristas came up with the name "macchiato" (macchiato means "spotted" in Italian). A white speck of milk froth is clearly visible on the golden espresso crema.
The problem is that latte macchiato is no less popular, which is prepared in a completely different way from the classic Italian macchiato. The international coffee chain Starbuks, which has been serving a drink called caramel macchiato since the late 90s, has contributed to the confusion. It is a milkshake with a method of preparation reminiscent of a latte macchiato.