New at Starbucks; Ari’s Cloud Macchiato

    Good Morning, guys! If you’re living under a rock, or just don’t particularly follow Starbucks new releases, you may not have heard about the Cloud Macchiato. Otherwise, you may be fully aware of the controversy surrounding this new drink. This little cup of coffee has caused its share of strife in the vegan community due to being a collaboration between Starbucks and the musical Ariana Grande, also known as Chanel Number 2 .

    The cause for the outrage surrounding this Macchiato topped with fluffy, lightly sweetened foam, is that it’s not vegan. I wasn’t aware that Ari was vegan, but her fans are. And, they are livid. To top it off, there’s not vegan option, due to the foam that crowns it having a main ingredient of egg whites. 

    Drama aside, the Cloud Macchiato comes in two flavors, cinnamon and caramel. If you’ve been following for a while, you know I prefer the super sweet flavor of caramel in my drinks. This is no different. This post is going to be a little bit of a roller coaster, because at first, I didn’t like it. But after about 15 sips, and sloshing it in the cup, I eventually decided I kind of dig it.    

 

    I was so excited to try it, not because of the origin, but because I’ve always loved macchiatos. I firmly expected to love this right off the bat. At first sip, which I took without stirring or sloshing, was a bitter affront to my taste-buds. I mean, maybe I do like my drinks overly-sweetened, but this was on a different level. I did notice a richness hiding under the sharp bite that greeted me. And, once I got the courage to drink a little more, I notice the foam had sunken into the drink and toned down the flavor to a mild nuttiness with some kick.

    At that point, I stirred it, because I wasn’t picking too much of the caramel. Once I did that, the foam was almost completely mixed in and the caramel had come to the surface to make a difference. I think this was the point where I decided that I do sort of like this one. It’s not for those who don’t like bitterness, that’s to say it was very nearly not for me. My final impression was that it was pleasantly sweet, the foam and caramel worked together to tone down my initial impression. Even with the sweetness I was loving at this point, I had a slight reminder of the bitterness lying wait under the surface. 
 
 

Taste; /5

    I award this one a 4/5, I don’t feel like I can give it a five just because it was a little of a hit and  miss for me. In the end I did enjoy it, but it wasn’t the best macchiato. While not being the worst, either. I do think that a 4 is a fair rating for the Cloud Macchiato.

 

Hometown Cravings; From humble beginnings to chain- Wheely’s Cafe`

City: Columbus, GA
Stop: Wheely’s Cafe`
Drink: Caramel Machiatto

Our aim is that among these three [coffees] you will find one that will make you want to beat us up, and another that will make you want to make love to us.

Hi guys! Welcome to another hometown cravings post! Today, I was able to break away from being an adult. I was productive, until I realized I was missing something. The last coffee shop (that I know of) in Columbus. Wheely’s Cafe` started out humbly as a Coffee Cart in Seattle, if I’m not mistaken and in competition with Starbucks. For the interested, you can read up on their history here! You’ll have to scroll through quite a bit of text to get to the history and there’s a couple expletives.

I’ve been to Wheely’s once- maybe twice, before. And it didn’t speak to me on a spiritual level, but I figured why not? I added them to this series, after all it’s only fair that you guys know all of the coffee that this fine city can provide you. Another mark in their favor, they have coffee, among other things.

My favorite “other thing” they carry is Virgil’s Orange Cream Soda- but this post isn’t about that. It’s about coffee, but before I get to that, the interior.

They have sparse seating as it’s not really a place meant to be lingered in for hours upon hours, along the walls they have different candies and syrups. The most interesting of which, to me, was the strawberry syrup that I made a mental note to return for at a later date. In the display case up front, beneath the menu, they have a selection of Virgil’s sugar cane sodas. Trust me, guys, Virgil’s makes good soda, but again not about that so, moving on!

I included a picture of the menu for your perusal-, but that didn’t help me, since i’m indecisive. I asked the barista what I would enjoy based off of my flavor preferences and she recommended the Caramel Machiatto and advised that I stir it as it may be bitter rather than sweet. This advice turned out to be solid, as my first sip was a mouthful of pure caramel.

Once stirred a fair bit, the flavor of the coffee and the caramel merged but still left me with a feeling of bitterness. The sweetness of the caramel all but disappears under the harshness and there’s a lingering acidity on the tongue that fades after a few seconds. If sipped, the drink is bearable, if not a bit persistent in the bitter area, but I do not advise taking a large gulp. I tried to take a big swig of it, which turned out to be a mistake as I was floored by an overwhelming beany-espresso flavor that caught almost off guard. I actually rather miss the pure caramel that greeted me originally.

All-in-all, it’s better than my previous experience. Which I won’t try to write on as all I recall is that I didn’t like what I had (could very well be a personal taste thing). The most shining thing I can say about this coffee is that, the caffeine is potent.

In retrospect I should have asked about the roast used. I did see quite a few Medium roast bags around the shop. In the future, I’ll make that a question I ask so I can identify them.

 

Instagrameter: Starbucks/5

they have some interesting treats and snacks that you might post- the most iconic thing is the exterior.

Taste: 2.5 out of 5/5

 I started out on board with it but as the caramel flavor dissipated beneath the waves of bitterness… I quickly wanted off. Maintained a 2.5 based off of effectiveness of espresso. It evidently isn’t my sort of place, but it might be yours!

Columbus, GA; Citrus and Cinnamon

City: Columbus, GA
Stop: Starbucks
Drink: Iced Cinnamon and Almondmilk Macchiato
Extras: Dreamsicle Pancakes

 

On a down day, we drove around our hometown with in search of the next adventure closer to home. We settled on a wonderful little gem of a breakfast place called Ruth Ann’s. Their signature breakfast item is the captain crunch French toast, which is TO DIE FOR. However, since I’ve had that before and our food writer is going to cover that, myself and Armani landed on the current special for the weekend of Dreamsicle pancakes.

The pancakes were softly citrus with most of the cream flavor coming from the made-in-house whipped cream. It was definitely orange cream but more subtle. We were pleasantly surprised, though next time I’ll probably get the French toast again.

Afterward, we went in search of a coffee place. Wouldn’t you know, basically all of them within 50 miles are closed. Dejected, we went to Starbucks.

I’ve probably tried everything on the main menu, so in the spirit of newness (I’ll visit the other drinks later), I tried the special iced cinnamon almond milk macchiato.

The drink itself was a like drinking a cinnamon roll dripping in espresso. The bitterness of the initial sip faded after a moment into the memory of cinnamon rolls. I stirred it to attempt to disburse the flavor, and found a jelly-like blob of cinnamon near the bottom. Maybe I should have stirred it more?

After a while, I stopped noticing the bitter undertones and just noticed the cinnamon. All in all, the drink isn’t for me but if you enjoy a drink with a fair amount of espresso flavor with a lingering spice it might be for you!

 

 

 

Instagrameter; Starbucks /5

I didn’t take too many pictures inside because Starbucks is fairly uniform from one to the other- if you want to photograph colorful drinks (Unicorn Frapp, anyone?) it’s perfect. Good for students just looking to get out of the house, if you want strong coffee there are better places to get that fix. As far things that will get you going on an early morning commute when the little local places aren’t open yet, Starbucks will scratch that coffee itch.

Taste: Starbucks Taste/5

 

-JJ