Everything You Need To Know About Starbucks's New Latte Macchiato

January 12, 2016

Starbucks recently announced, much to everyone’s dismay, that they were adding the Latte Macchiato to their menus in the Americas. So far this new kid on the block hasn’t made many friends, but that’s mostly because no one knows what it is.

Following the success of the Flat White, the company seems eager to expand your coffee vocabulary, so here’s what you need to know about this beverage.

What The Heck Is A Latte Macchiato?

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You can thank the Italians for this one! Photo: @funda_35 / Instagram

Don’t worry, Starbucks isn’t trying to pull a fast one on you. Latte Macchiatos have been a part of European baristas vocabulary for a long time, especially in Germany, which is probably why the company steered clear of introducing this in European markets.

A latte macchiato is an Italian espresso drink often given to children as a “starter coffee.” An espresso shot(s) is carefully added to steamed milk to create the dot or “macchia.”

Unlike a caffe latte, the milk and espresso are deftly layered rather than mixed in the pouring process. Unlike a caffè macchiato, however, the espresso creates the dot, not the milk.

The name, which translates to “stained milk” pulls from the presence and amount of milk used in a latte along with the pouring method of a macchiato.

How Do They Taste?

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Uh, like Heaven, obviously. Photo: @petrca1989 / Instagram

In Italy, a latte macchiato tends to have anywhere from half to a full shot of espresso, but other Europeans will use two shots, and the latter seems to be the standard for Starbucks as well. Though you would think two espresso shots at the top of your beverage would yield a stronger coffee flavor, you’d be wrong.

The drink tastes like a babyccino – a cup of steamed milk. Occasionally, the faint taste of coffee surprises you, but you could get a stronger experience from smelling a coffee bean. The espresso taste disappears into the milky microfoam never to be enjoyed, making me understand why the grandmasters of espresso give this to their kids.

Is It Worth It?

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As with everything in life, it depends. Photo: @stephaniekittle / Instagram

If you don’t like the taste of coffee, Starbucks’ Latte Macchiato is a good horse to back. You get your two shots of concentrated caffeine masked by milk (or whichever milk substitute you prefer).

If you live for the taste of espresso, however, you shouldn’t change your regular order. Those who lie between the two extremes should give it a try, but don’t expect fireworks.