Mar 6, 2014

Review: Starbucks - Vanilla Macchiato

Starbucks' new Vanilla Macchiato features steamed milk mixed with vanilla syrup and topped off with a shot of espresso and a cross-hatch of vanilla-caramel sauce (they describe it as "a drizzle of Madagascar Bourbon vanilla mixed with brown sugar, butter and a dash of salt").

I paid $3.75 for a 12-oz Tall (I opted for whole milk over the standard 2%).

As you might expect from the description, the Vanilla Macchiato tastes mostly like a Vanilla Latte because it basically is a Vanilla Latte. It's just poured slightly differently and the new vanilla-caramel sauce is added on top.

The idea here is because it's layered, you get different flavors and textures in each sip. It doesn't really work out so much in practice though. Since, as you tilt the cup to drink, the foam on top and the sauce with it move away from your mouth as the denser steamed milk and coffee come through. You do get a stronger initial coffee flavor though since the espresso is poured on top instead of being stirred into the steamed milk. That being said, Starbucks' Espresso Roast tastes overly burnt to me, which isn't exactly a plus.

To actually get the vanilla-caramel sauce, which has a really rich and buttery vanilla flavor plus a slight bit of salt, into your drink, it seems best to just stir the drink together (which is what I ended up doing after the initial few sips). I think the better plan might be to just order your drink made with the sauce rather than vanilla syrup or to just ask for extra sauce (because the sauce is pretty tasty).

Overall, Starbucks Vanilla Macchiato is most notable for the new vanilla-caramel sauce that decorates its surface. Unfortunately, getting the flavor into your drink proves a bit of a challenge and you might want to go with my suggestions above for a fuller, more enjoyable taste. Otherwise, it's just a Vanilla Latte.

Nutritional Info - Starbucks Vanilla Macchiato - Tall with whole milk (12 fl oz)
Calories - 200 (from Fat - 70)
Fat - 8g (Saturated Fat - 4.5g)
Sodium - 115mg
Carbs - 24g (Sugar - 23g)
Protein - 8g
Caffeine - 75mg