Starbucks’ latte macchiato disappoints


Sarah Sutley

Starbucks’ latte macchiato stands as nothing more than hot milk with the occasional spurt of bitter coffee.

Sarah Sutley, Entertainment editor

Following the success of the flat white’s introduction last winter, Starbucks recently added the latte macchiato to their menu, disappointing fans of bold coffee and those looking for a sweet new drink option.

The latte macchiato promises a unique combination of both classic espresso beverages. Baristas traditionally create lattes by pouring steamed milk and foam atop one (or two, at many U.S. coffee shops, satisfying the irreversible caffeine addiction) shots of espresso. A macchiato, on the other hand, begins with only four ounces of steamed milk marked by a single espresso shot. Much to the disbelief of Starbucks’ customers, the popular caramel, vanilla, and many other macchiatos vary substantially from the drink’s roots.

Although the new hybrid may sound fancy and appealing, the latte macchiato tastes like a milky mess. Starbucks describes their new drink as consisting of: “steamed whole milk that is perfectly aerated and free-poured creating dense foam reminiscent of meringue marked by slowly-poured full espresso shots, creating a signature espresso dot.” In simpler terms, the latte macchiato stands as a cup of hot milk with a small, but intense, shot of espresso sitting on top.

Upon taking the first sip, I only tasted coffee. The beginning of the drink tasted bold and bitter, disappointing to even those who love strong coffee. Even worse, as I continued drinking, the coffee taste completely disappeared, leaving me to drink almost fifteen ounces of hot milk. The milk was steamed and airy, but milk nonetheless. Personally, I prefer a consistent flavor throughout, rather than spurts of different tastes. Likewise, those accustomed to the sweetness of caramel macchiatos or vanilla lattes would do best to forgo the new addition or add a few pumps of syrup.

Overall, despite the intriguing sound of Starbucks’ new latte macchiato, the drink combines unappealing aspects of both the latte and macchiato. In essence, the beverage stands as a hot Italian milkshake the should be enjoyed only by children whose parents want to give them real coffee but are not sure if they can stomach it. Try again next time, Starbucks.

The Chant’s Grade: D-