Friday, November 29, 2013

Starbucks Discoveries Caramel Macchiato Is Tasty, But Overpriced!

The Good: Tastes very flavorful, Nothing bad in it
The Bad: Expensive! Low nutritional benefit.
The Basics: Starbucks Discoveries Caramel Macchiato is tasty, but vastly overpriced for what it is.

For the past several months, my wife and I have seen the Starbucks Discoveries prepared beverages at our local grocery story. These drinks come in a cardboard carton (like a giant juice box) and, locally, have been over five dollars for a 50.7 fluid ounce container. For the six servings the carton contains, it is very expensive. However, we were fortunate enough to find some on clearance at the grocery store a few weeks back and our first experience with them was with the Caramel Macchiato.

The Starbucks Discoveries Caramel Macchiato is good, but not quite worth the expense. It is not as healthy as, for example, Bolthouse Farms Mocha Cappuccino (reviewed here!), but it is not bad and has better ingredients than most prepared coffee drinks.


Starbucks is a company that makes coffee and in expanding out from the coffee shops, it has been robustly selling its coffee in prepared beverages, beans, and ice creams. This is a dairy beverage that is milk and coffee-based, so it is one of the more perishable Starbucks products sold outside the cafes. Starbucks Discoveries Caramel Macchiato comes in a 50.7 fl. oz. cardboard carton that is too large to be portable. The carton is filled with the opaque fairly dark tan liquid, reminiscent of chocolate milk, with a lot of chocolate, that is the Discoveries Caramel Macchiato. Starbucks is one of the leading manufacturers of prepared coffee beverages.

The 50.7 fl. oz. bottle is intended to give consumers six servings, which makes this a good drink to share.

Ease Of Preparation

Starbucks Discoveries Caramel Macchiato is a liquid in the 50.7 fl. oz. carton and is a ready-to-drink beverage. So, preparation is as easy as opening the plastic cap. Unscrewing that, one has to pull off the plastic tab beneath to get access to the spout and the fluid inside. Starbucks has a plastic cap that easily twists off and can be put back on in order to reseal it. It is important to note that this is supposed to be refrigerated, so quality of the beverage may degrade if it is left out at room temperature before or after the bottle is open. Otherwise, this is very easy to dispense and there is no real preparation required outside shaking the carton while the cap is on.


From the aroma, the Caramel Macchiato actually smells like caramel. There is a warm, somewhat buttery to the cold beverage and it is finished with a more forthright, less sweet finishing scent. The finishing scent is beany, but not distinctly aromatic of coffee.

On the tongue, there is an instant sweetness that overcomes the tongues in the very first wave. It is a burnt caramel flavor and it does not linger on the palate. Instead, it is washed off with a potent coffee flavor indicative of a medium dark coffee blend. This is a milky coffee beverage that does not have any of the bitterness of regular coffee.

The Caramel Macchiato finishes sweet and dry and leaves the mouth with a very dry aftertaste. The aftertaste remains on the tongue for about five minutes.


As a dairy and coffee beverage, Starbucks Discoveries Caramel Macchiato is designed to wake up a consumer with a more flavorful option than straight-out coffee. Nutritionally, Starbucks Discoveries Caramel Macchiato is mediocre, but not bad. Discoveries Caramel Macchiato is primarily composed of reduced-fat milk, brewed Starbucks espresso coffee and sugar. It contains nothing bad, which is probably why it expires so fast. The Starbucks Discoveries Caramel Macchiato contains milk, so it is in no way Vegan compliant. On the plus side, though, there are no preservatives, artificial flavors or colors!

This drink is also good, but not overly healthy. One serving of Discoveries Caramel Macchiato has 2 g fat and 120 calories, 20 of which come from the fat. While there are 20 grams of carbohydrates, the beverage has only 10 mg of cholesterol and only 3 grams of protein! Unsurprisingly, there are 40 mg (2% RDA) of sodium in each serving. A single serving is a not a sufficient source of any nutrients, though it has 10% of the RDA of Calcium.


Starbucks Discoveries Caramel Macchiato comes in a cardboard carton and it keeps for only a few weeks. The bottle I bought the first week of November had an expiration date of November 12, 2013 (fear not, I consumed it and wrote the review well before it expired!). This beverage must be refrigerated!

This drink is a dairy product and fairly dark, because of the coffee in it. If this gets on clothes, it will certainly stain them. Consult a care guide for your clothes, though I suspect light clothes would need bleach to get this out. Still, the drink wipes off surfaces easily with a cloth, assuming they are impermeable.


Starbucks Discoveries Caramel Macchiato is flavorful, but not the best rendition of caramel one might absolutely want. It lacks any impressive health benefits, but it is still delightful.

For other coffee drinks, please visit my reviews of:
Starbucks Via Colombia coffee
Seattle's Best Level 5 Coffee
Nescafe Caramel Latte Memento


For other food reviews, please visit my Food And Drink Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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