“You’re kidding me,” I said. My friend, a barista at Starbucks, had just told me the secret to the creation of a caramel macchiato.
The only caramel thing about it is the caramel syrup we put in it,” she told me. “If you get a hot macchiato, you might as well have gotten a vanilla latte with a pump of caramel.”I was crestfallen. My favorite drink, a salted caramel macchiato, was nothing more than an over-priced latte. The thing that sets macchiatos apart is the fact that the milk and coffee are separate within the drink. If you’ve ever gotten a cold macchiato with a clear cup, you can see it. Coffee on top of milk. In a hot drink, those two ingredients mix, resulting in a latte. The only thing that makes it caramel is the same stuff that you put on your ice cream: caramel syrup. Turns out a lot of other “specialty drinks” aren’t so special either. Our very own Sufficient Grounds contains a black book full of such drinks as the “Brown Bear” or the “Bodine”…which are both variations on a cookies and cream milkshake or Frappuccino, with only one thing different each. But it’s enough for a new name. And at Starbucks, or other coffee shops, this usually means a new price too. It just goes to show that the author of Ecclesiastes had it right. “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecc. 1:9 NIV) As for me, I’ll just start ordering my vanilla lattes with a pump of caramel and some salt. I’m not paying more for those extra letters in the name.