I realize that the first day of spring isn’t for another couple of weeks, but given the recent temperatures, you’ll forgive me if I say that spring has already sprung. And hey, guess what? To celebrate, two new Starbucks Macchiatos have arrived — because apparently, the ‘Bux has declared the Macchiato to be the official drink of springtime. Yum? Yum.
Starbucks already offers a number of different Macchiatos on its regular menu, among them the Espresso Macchiato, the Latte Macchiato, and the beloved Caramel Macchiato. Starting on Feb. 28, though, the Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Macchiato (pictured up top) and the Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato will both be on offer, giving you a whole new world of options to choose from. Macchiatos are one of the few espresso drinks I enjoy as much hot as I do iced, so it makes sense to me that they’d be the perfect springtime treat; think of them as the transition wardrobe of the coffee world.
First, though, let’s talk a little bit about what a macchiato actually is. Starbucks’ Espresso Macchiato is probably the closest thing to a traditional macchiato on the menu: Meaning “marked,” this caffeinated beverage typically consists of a shot or two of espresso with just a small amount of foamed milk “marking” the top. A latte macchiato, meanwhile, is, as Bon Appetit describes it, “basically the inverse of a latte” — that is, if a macchiato is espresso marked by a little bit of milk, a latte macchiato is milk marked by a little bit of espresso. And a Caramel Macchiato? That’s a Starbucks invention, which tops the drink with that lovely-looking cross-hatch of caramel. The Caramel Macchiato has been on the Starbucks menu for over 20 years; I drank a lot of them when I was in high school. (They were new then. Yes, I’m old.)
Which brings us to the two new Macchiatos on the Sbux menu for spring. First up: The Starbucks Iced Cinnamon Almondmilk Macchiato. Inspired by horchata — a rice-based drink popular in Spain and Latin America (and if you’ve never had it, I highly suggest you go find it immediately, because it’s delicious) — this iced treat takes Starbucks’ signature roast espresso and combines it with almondmilk and cinnamon dolce syrup. A caramel cross-hatch and a sprinkling of cinnamon dolce top the whole thing off for a sweet, refreshing spring beverage.
Then, we’ve got the Starbucks Coconut Milk Mocha Macchiato. If the name of this one sounds familiar to you, that’s because it was originally released as an iced drink during the summer of 2016. I’ve had the iced one before; it tastes like drinkable sundae, so if you’ve got a sweet tooth, you’ll probably dig it. The hot one has a similar flavor profile, consisting of espresso shots poured over coconut milk and mixed with white chocolate mocha sauce; the caramel cross-hatch makes an appearance on this drink, as well, although a swirl of mocha sauce adds a little extra decadence.
I think it’s notable that both of these drinks are designed specifically for dairy-free milk alternatives; sure, cow’s milk is still the default milk choice in a lot of settings, but it’s nice to have some mainstream reminders that it doesn’t have to be. So hey, why not treat yourself? Sometimes, a cup of fancy coffee is the best kind of self-care in the world.