Starbucks has really amped up its refrigerated bottled drinks. I have tried most of their single serve bottles, but have recently been able to get the large container caramel macchiato. This drink comes in a large cardboard container much like milk. It has a screw cap on the side for easy pouring (mine somehow got dented in though so pouring isn’t that easy.)
Each container has 50.7 fluid ounces (about 1.5 liters) and costs a little under $5 at my local Walmart.
It is supposed to be a “chilled espresso beverage” and is a mixture of espresso, milk and flavoring. While a normal caramel macchiato is a layered drink (caramel sauce on top of milk on top of espresso) this is all mixed together into one dark brown drink.
The drink is not bitter, in is in fact quite smooth and drinkable, and has a milky but not fatty flavor. The caramel, though, is not very noticeable. There is just a slight hint of richness barely recognizable as caramel. No slurping bits of sauce up here. Basically it is sweet, but not overly so, and actually does taste like coffee.
Since this is in a carton, there is no taste of aluminum as found in some other iced coffee drinks. Also, it is quite a good deal at under $5 (around the price of a grande actual caramel macchiato).
So, does this remind me exactly of a caramel macchiato? No. Does it replace that starbucks experience for me? No. Is it good? Yes.
Overall, while this will never replace an actual starbucks beverage, this is a good, relatively cheap option for iced coffee drinking at home. I find it is so easy to just pour out a glass of this in the morning and get my iced coffee caffeine fix. And at only 120 calories for an 8 oz. glass, I can control my consumption of coffee calories. This beverage comes in two other flavors: vanilla latte and café mocha.