On January 5, Starbucks is adding a new beverage to its menu: the Latte Macchiato.
The drink contains just two ingredients — espresso and milk. To create the beverage, shots of espresso are poured over foamed whole milk.
The Latte Macchiato joins what Starbucks calls its “core espresso family.” These are drinks that only contain espresso, water, and foamed or steamed milk, from the pure espresso Doppio to the super-creamy Caffé Latte (a shot of espresso in steamed milk, topped with foam).
A tall (12 fl. oz.) Latte Macchiato will cost between $3.75 and $4.25, depending on the market, the same price as the Flat White.
In addition to the US, the Latte Macchiato is also being added to Starbucks’ menus in Canada and most markets in Latin America.
While the drink shares a name with the sweet Caramel Macchiato, from a business perspective it’s a clear successor to the Flat White. The Flat White is another relatively recent addition to the core espresso menu, containing sweet espresso shots and steamed milk. Starbucks debuted the beverage almost exactly a year ago in January 2015.
The Flat White is a popular beverage in Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. However, in the US, it had primarily only appeared on American menus at independent coffee shops prior to last year. Despite its previously unknown nature, it was a major success for Starbucks in 2015, with the Holiday Spice Flat White even emerging as Northeastern customers’ favourite holiday beverage.
The Latte Macchiato similarly offers a minimalist take on coffee from a chain selling a number of over-the-top, super-sweet Frappuccinos and lattes. While these sweet beverages are key to Starbucks’ success, the company is also dedicated to offering coffee-snob approved products, such as the coffee created from its premium Reserve Roasteries.
Following the Flat White’s model of success, the Latte Macchiato may bring Starbucks sales, while simultaneously boosting the chain’s credibility amongst espresso lovers. Of course, just as naysayers said the Flat White was not authentic, you can expect similar backlash regarding the Latte Macchiato, as the complexities of espresso beverages go mainstream.
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