The never-ending quest to create new caffeinated beverages using only two ingredients has left Starbucks with its newest concoction: the Latte Macchiato, a permanent fixture on its menu starting Tuesday.
Now if you're like me, you're probably saying to yourself, "that doesn't even make any sense." How can a latte be a macchiato? How can a macchiato be a latte? Well, we visited Starbucks to find out.
Tucked between art galleries and just a few convenient steps from the tourism mecca that is the High Line in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan is a new Starbucks that is a little different. Keen to its surroundings, the newly opened shop feels like an art gallery, and well, they do sell the art lining the walls.
There we met Angus Maxwell, a 27-year-old barista who is clearly passionate about coffee (as well as Starbucks.) He explained the subtle differences between a macchiato, a latte and the new Latte Macchiato.
Getting straight to it, the Latte Macchiato is somewhat of a reverse latte. First, the barista steams whole milk, which is then added to an empty glass and topped with a bit of merengue-like foam. Two shots of espresso are then poured through the milk. (Normal cafe lattes are created by first pouring the espresso on the cup, followed by the steam milk.)
OK -- big deal?
Well, actually, reversing these two steps is somewhat of a big deal. Giving the steamed milk a little time to rest in the glass causes a temporary separation when the espresso is pulled and slowly poured into the foam top and steamed milk.
This small difference is supposed to invoke a much bolder espresso taste, which is then followed up with the sweetness and creaminess from the steamed milk.
Now you won't be able to see it through your white Starbucks cup, but the drink is actually much darker than a typical latte.
So why macchiato?
Pouring the milk in first and then slowly adding espresso over the milk leaves the glass with a marked effect, signature of a macchiato. Starbucks defines their macchiato as "a shot or two of espresso, with just a small amount of steamed milk that "marks" the espresso."
Not so new for some
For some Starbucks lovers, this drink is anything but new because at least one former barista was serving it to their faithful customers for years. According to Starbucks, the drink was actually created by an employee who is now on the team that creates new beverages for Starbucks.
The drink rolls out to the U.S. and Canada as well as participating stores in Latin America on Tuesday and will run consumers $3.75- $4.25 for a tall, which is the same price as the flat white latte.
Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.
RELATED: Starbucks cups through the years
Starbucks cups, different looks through the years
Starbucks' newest drink is the Latte Macchiato. WTF is that?
CHENGDU, SICHUAN PROVINCE, CHINA - 2015/09/13: Coffee cup on table in a Starbucks cafe. Starbucks is streamlining the ordering process so customers are able to get that cup of coffee faster than usual. (Photo by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A cappuccino coffee sits in a Starbucks Corp. Reserve cup, used for specialist coffee, on the counter at a Starbucks coffee shop in London, U.K., on Friday, Oct. 16, 2015. Coffee futures fell the most in seven months after Colombia announced measures that will increase exports, spurred by the plight of farmers in the country who are dealing with drought conditions linked to the El Nino weather pattern. Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images
BEIJING, CHINA - 2014/12/24: A paper coffee cup and Starbucks logo. Starbucks will continue its expansion in China in 2015 and double its China store count to 3,000 by 2019. In its first-quarter fiscal report, the coffee giant shows optimistic expectation for its robust expansion plans in 2015. (Photo by Zhang Peng/LightRocket via Getty Images)
A Starbucks employee writes a message on a cup of freshly brewed coffee at a local store in Washington, DC on December 26, 2012. Starbucks stirred the political pot Wednesday by urging its baristas to write 'come together' on its cups as a way to pressure US lawmakers to compromise on a deal to avert a year-end fiscal crisis. Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz said the American coffee giant was recommending its first-ever message on the side of tall, grande and venti (small, medium and large) drinks sold at its Washington stores as a way to help break the capital's gridlock on the so-called 'fiscal cliff.' Lawmakers and the White House have less than a week to work out a deal aimed at preventing tax hikes from hitting all Americans and a series of deep, mandated spending cuts from kicking in beginning January 1. AFP PHOTO/Eva HAMBACH (Photo credit should read EVA HAMBACH/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this March 18, 2015 file photo, Larenda Myres holds an iced coffee drink with a "Race Together" sticker on it at a Starbucks store in Seattle. Starbucks baristas will no longer write "Race Together" on customers' cups starting Sunday, ending as planned a visible component of the company's diversity and racial inequality campaign that had sparked widespread criticism in the week since it took effect. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Justin McCartney of Hampton, Va., holds up a cup with the words "Come Together" written on it outside a Starbucks cafe in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 27, 2012. Starbucks is using its coffee cups to jump into the political fray in Washington. The world's biggest coffee chain is asking employees at cafes in the Washington area to scribble the words "Come Together" on cups for drink orders on Thursday and Friday. CEO Howard Schultz says the words are intended as a message to lawmakers about the damage being caused by the divisive negotiations over the "fiscal cliff." (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
A Starbucks coffee cup is seen in this photo taken August 12, 2009. AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
A customer holds their cup of coffee at the Starbucks in Chagrin Falls, Ohio on Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2006. Starbucks Corp. releases third-quarter earnings after the closing bell. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
A cup of Starbucks tea is seen in Washington, Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006. Starbucks Corp., the largest specialty coffee retailer, will report its earnings for the fiscal fourth quarter on Thursday, Nov. 16, 2006. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
MIAMI - JANUARY 18: In this photo illustration, the new Starbucks 31-ounce Trenta size ice coffee is seen on the right next to a tall cup of Starbucks coffee on January 18, 2011 in Miami, Florida. Starbucks rolled out the newest member of its lineup of drinks which is available only for Tazo shaken iced teas, iced tea lemonades and iced coffees. (Photo illustration by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - SEPTEMEBR 26: Starbucks Coffe Company's news product 'Starbucks Discoveries'(Espressso (L), Latte (R)) are seen during a preview party on September 26, 2005 in Tokyo, Japan. 'Starbucks Discoveries' is the company's first chilled cup coffee product which will be available at convenience stores on September 27 in Japan with the same coffee beans used at Starbucks stores. (Photo by Junko Kimura/Getty Images)