It might be the time of year for pumpkin spice, but I still loved the tried and true Caramel Macchiato! I tried 3 different kinds and compared them on price, taste, and how well the product matches an actual Caramel Macchiato. For those who don’t know, a Caramel Macchiato is a coffee drink that you can purchase in many coffee houses. It is a layered drink made with vanilla syrup on the bottom, followed by the milk. Then the espresso is added on top and not mixed but allowed to slowly drain into the rest of the coffee. The top is drizzled with a caramel sauce that also is not mixed into the drink. This drink can be served hot or iced, but it is not a flavor, nor is it mixed. For this post, I tried 3 different Caramel Macchiato from 3 different locations.
1. McDonald’s Caramel Macchiato Iced: $2.00
This is a brand new item on the McDonald’s menu. It is currently on special for a small size, hot or iced for $2.00. Right now, that is the price all day long, and not just during the happy hour between 2 and 5 PM at some locations. The size of the drink is 12 oz and I decided to try it on ice. I was very disappointed in this product. When they handed it to me, I asked if it was the right drink because they had clearly mixed it together. The cashier assured me it was their iced Caramel Macchiato and it was even labeled correctly. I took the drink and took a good look. There was the tiniest bit of caramel drizzle on the straw, so that means that there was an attempt to do something like an actual Caramel Macchiato. The drink was okay, if you were wanting an iced caramel latte. This was nowhere near the layered drink. The taste was okay, but again, it wasn’t the drink that was advertised. I haven’t gotten a second one, so I don’t know if anyone makes this drink the layered way, or if it is universally a mixed drink with some caramel sauce. The price was good, the taste was okay, but the way they made the drink was wrong. Because of all of this, I give the Caramel Macchiato a 1 out 5 stars.
2. Starbucks Caramel Macchiato Hot: $4.28
Starbucks is famous for their Caramel Macchiato for a reason. They have done a very good job with the actual construction of the product and serving it as true to form as possible. It is very popular to not like Starbucks right now, even though their numbers sing a very different tune. I have worked for Starbucks in two different locations and situations and I honestly don’t mind them. If I did, I wouldn’t have worked there. Is it my favorite coffee, no, but it is good and I enjoy it like so many other people. So setting all that aside for those Starbucks haters out there, let’s go over the product. Here, you have the choice of the type of milk you would like to use unlike McDonald’s. You also have the choice to have sugar free. While I agree that the cost of this coffee is too much, I will still pay for time to time. (I also have ways to get free items, so stay tuned for an upcoming blog about how to get free Starbucks!) Very simply, the choice of your milk and if you can get sugar free puts this well before many other places. The taste is good, the construction is great, and the price is a bit too high for my taste. Because of this, I give the Starbucks Caramel Macchiato a 4 out 5 stars.
3. Homemade Caramel Macchiato: $ Under a dollar:
While this is the most work, this might be the best and cheapest choice! Take a look at the end of the post to see some links to get these items. While the initial cost of these products could be considered high, each cup that you make will be cheaper than anything that you can purchase at any coffee shop. You also have the choice in your own milks, sugar free or regular, and even the type of espresso that you use for your drink. It may take some trial and error to make this at home, but as long as you take it slow, and don’t mix the product, you should eventually get a really good homemade Caramel Macchiato. Because of of the price, the taste, and how you can personalize your preference, this method needs to get a 5 out of 5 stars. You can make it best!
All in all, it is your choice on how to get your coffee. It’s most cost effective to make your own, but sometimes, it is nice to just get one made for you while you are on the go! I really didn’t like the McDonald’s coffee since it really wasn’t what was advertised. However, if you want an okay caramel latte, then this is a cheap choice at $2.00 and will give you some coffee for a decent price. I perfer the Starbucks version when you are going to purchase at a coffee shop since it is the closest to the correct way to make this coffee with so many steps. What do you think? What is your favorite Caramel Macchiato? Leave your comments below, and your photos of your home made ones!
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*Shopping list to make your homemade Caramel Macchiato: