Head in the Clouds

Foam is just one important feature that sets espresso drinks apart from one another, but Starbucks has turned it into the feature, filling half of each plastic cup with the stuff for their new Cloud Macchiato. Literally translated as “stained coffee,” a standard caffè macchiato is much like a latte in basic composition, but wholly unique in assembly. Starting with a base of steamed milk, a shot of espresso marks the spot, and a layer of foam seals the deal. Since more is always better by the American Standard, we simply took that finale to all new heights, turning it into a veritable meringue island on a thimbleful of brown liquid.

Maddeningly, while a regular macchiato can be made vegan with any non-dairy milk, the cloud cannot. Whether served hot or over ice, with cinnamon or caramel, egg whites are the secret ingredient that give this frothy crown its loft.

Here’s the silver lining to this cloud: It’s really a snap to make at home.

Fluffy, ethereal spoonfuls of fine bubbles cloud chilled glasses thanks to everyone’s favorite bean brine. That’s right: Aquafaba strikes again! Lightly beaten before reaching soft peaks, it holds its shape admirably without casting an overtly beany fog over the beverage. Luxuriously velvety yet far lighter in texture than the more typical whipped cream, the results are arguably more satisfying than a slushy old frappuccino and considerably healthier, too.

Yield: Makes 1 Serving

Cloud Macchiato

Cloud Macchiato

A luxuriously velvety layer of foam crowns this strong iced latte, lightly sweetened with notes of caramel.

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes



  1. Place the non-dairy milk and caramel syrup in a tall heat-safe glass and swirl gently to combine. Add ice and brew your espresso or coffee.
  2. Meanwhile, whisk the aquafaba, sugar, and lemon zest together either in your stand mixer or with a small handheld electric coffee frother. Beat until the consistency is thick enough to spoon, but softer than whipped cream or meringue.
  3. Pour the fresh espresso or coffee into your glass. Top with the foam, and garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon and/or a drizzle of caramel sauce, if desired.


*To make this drink sugar-free, substitute 1 - 2 drops of caramel-flavored liquid stevia and omit the caramel drizzle.

If you'd like a hot macchiato, simply omit the ice.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 164Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 280mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 1gSugar: 18gProtein: 9g

All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates.

10 thoughts on “Head in the Clouds

  1. As soon as it warms up again, that will look delicious. I usually only get a mocha or tea at Starbucks. Your version of their new drink sounds good and much better for me. :-)


    P.S. We’re moving to AZ early next year, making California much closer and I have relatives in the SF area. :-)

    1. Oh, so close, but still so far! I hope that means you’ll be able to pop by for a visit more easily, and more often. :)

      1. That’s the best news yet! Keep me on your travel planner when you do.

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