What are the Starbucks Cloud Macchiatos?
Starbucks’ new Cloud Macchiato is a new fancy take on an O.G., the macchiato, inspired by a classic Spanish summer drink (leche merengada or meringue milk). To achieve the frothy Instagram-worthy clouds, Starbucks’ R&D created a new “cloud powder” out of egg whites. In my mind, they just added egg whites to their existing cold foam offering, but maybe I’m oversimplifying it.
There are two new flavors: the Caramel Cloud (whipped cloud cold foam, vanilla syrup, espresso, caramel drizzle) and the Cinnamon Cloud (whipped cloud cold foam, cinnamon lemon syrup, espresso, caramel drizzle, a dusting of cinnamon). The latter seems to be more faithful to the Spanish’s meringue milk as it includes cinnamon and lemon.
The crosshatching of the caramel drizzle on both is apparently a key Starbucks touch, but that’s not something I think of when thinking of when ordering caramel-topped drinks from here.
How are they?
They were way too easy to drink because I’m basically paying almost $5 for 1/2 cup of foam and an espresso shot, but I enjoyed it.
The Caramel Cloud had everything I enjoyed about the indulgent Ultra Caramel Frappuccino but with almost half the calories and sugar. Like the Ultra, it was less sweet than other caramel drinks. I noticed when ordering on the app that the Tall came with one pump of syrup. Typically, Tall beverages have at least 2-3 pumps of syrup (Cinnamon Dolce Latte: 3, Vanilla Latte: 2).
In addition to being less sweet, the cloud foam added a luxe aspect to the drink like the cold brew whipped cream did for the Ultra. I liken it to eating a delicious, guilt-free lite whipped cream.
Watch out for the cloud ‘stache though! Your first sip will be all foam, but the espresso catches up on the 2nd or 3rd sip depending on the size of your gulps. When the espresso broke through the clouds like a ray of sunshine, it packed a wallop because of the bold contrast to the fluffy light sweetness.
As for the Cinnamon Cloud, I didn’t pick up on any cinnamon or lemon at all. All I could discern was that it wasn’t as coffee-forward as the Caramel version. Maybe this one could’ve benefitted from an extra pump of syrup!
Is there anything else you need to know?
It’s available both iced and hot. The hot version comes in a plain, white cup like all the other hot drinks, which defeats the purpose of the frothy cloud concept. Why even introduce it in hot?
Note that the iced version comes with the new straw-less lid, but I had to grab a straw anyway to get the globs of caramel at the bottom.
All in all, it’s no surprise that it’s another winner from Starbucks! But these new drinks stand out because they’re not just another flavored syrup, but truly game-changing innovation in the coffee space. I’m already thinking about all the other flavored cloud possibilities with this new fluffy goodness!
Purchased Price: $4.45
Size: Tall (12 fl. oz.)
Rating: 9 out of 10 (Caramel)
Rating: 6 out of 10 (Cinnamon)
Nutrition Facts: (12 fl. oz.) Caramel – 210 calories, 6 grams of fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of carbohydrates, 28 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein. Cinnamon – 210 calories, 6 grams of fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 29 grams of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.