What is an Upside Down Iced Caramel Macchiato?

The upside-down method of making coffee is mostly associated with the caramel macchiato and there are two good reasons for that. In this article, we will explain

  • what is an upside-down caramel macchiato and how it came about
  • what is an upside-down iced caramel macchiato and how it came about

When it comes to coffee drinks, our individual perception of coffee affects how we experience the flavors. People who like espresso will not mind a layered drink with espresso at the top such that the first sips are straight espresso.

Those who don’t like the bitterness of espresso prefer espresso shots at the bottom of the drink or a stirred drink so that the coffee mixes with the milk and the other ingredients before they sip on it.

No coffee drink epitomizes the difference in how we experience its flavors better than a caramel macchiato and its iced variant.

What is an Upside Down Caramel Macchiato?

An upside-down caramel macchiato is an inverted caramel macchiato. It is what you get when you reverse the steps of making a regular caramel macchiato.

The reason for the upside-down caramel macchiato is that some people do not like to drink the espresso shots straight when they start sipping on the regular caramel macchiato. So they order the drink upside down such that caramel sauce and espresso are part of the bottom layers and milk and vanilla form the top layers.

What is an Upside Down Iced Caramel Macchiato?

An upside-down iced caramel macchiato is an iced caramel macchiato made in reverse whereby caramel topping goes to the bottom and the other ingredients are also added in reverse. It starts with caramel sauce at the base of the cup followed by espresso shots, ice, cold milk, and then vanilla syrup is added last.

The Amazing Story of How the Upside Down Iced Caramel Macchiato Come About?

Ideally, when you drink an iced coffee beverage you should experience its flavors the same way when you drink its hot version. Unfortunately, this is not the case when it comes to layered drinks such as the hot caramel macchiato and its iced version. And it’s all because of one thing….a DRINKING STRAW.

***Bear in mind that you drink a hot beverage from the top and a cold drink from the bottom when you use a straw.***

To understand this difference let’s start with the steps of making a hot caramel macchiato and the standard iced caramel macchiato and how you drink them. The two beverages start with vanilla syrup at the bottom, followed by milk, espresso shots, froth, and lastly caramel drizzle at the top. For the iced version, ice cubes are added before espresso.

When it comes to drinking, the hot caramel macchiato does not need a straw so the first flavors to hit your taste buds will be more of caramel, espresso, and a bit of milk and vanilla.

For the regular iced caramel macchiato, you need a straw to drink it. When you shove the straw to the bottom of the cup, then obviously, you experience more of the flavors at the bottom than those at the top. It’s like drinking the flavors backwards such that you first experience more of vanilla and cold milk and a bit of espresso and caramel.

This proves that the way you experience the flavors in an iced caramel macchiato is totally opposite and different from drinking a hot caramel macchiato.

To correct this, the upside-down iced caramel macchiato which has the steps backwards was made. When you drink it with a straw, you experience the flavors the same way when you drink a hot caramel macchiato.

Should You Stir an Upside-Down Iced Caramel Macchiato

Although you can stir a caramel macchiato including the upside-down version, in a way, stirring is pointless because you are meant to drink the beverage in its layered form.

Stirring an upside-down iced caramel macchiato makes it one homogenous drink that renders the barista’s effort in crafting it meaningless. Most baristas will quietly frown when they notice you stirring this drink.

If you want the drink stirred, simply ask the barista to stir it when ordering. The barista will stir espresso shots with caramel sauce and vanilla syrup and then add milk and ice. If you are lucky, some baristas drizzle extra caramel at the top as a special treat.

A stirred caramel macchiato whether hot or iced is essentially a latte with vanilla and caramel sauce as it does not have the layers that are unique to a caramel macchiato.

How to Order an Upside-Down Caramel Macchiato on the Starbucks App

To order a hot upside-down caramel macchiato on the Starbucks app

  • Start by selecting the hot coffees menu
  • Scroll down to the macchiatos section and select caramel macchiato
  • Select the cup size and under the customization, select your choice of milk, flavors, toppings, and sweeteners
  • On the same page, locate the “Espresso & Shot Options” tab and press the “Edit” button in the tab. This will open a small window
  • On the new window, press the “Shot Prep” tab to reveal the “upside-down” option. Press this option and save or press “Done”
  • Choose a store that is closest to you and place your order
how to order upside-down caramel macchiato on the Starbucks app
Ordering upside-down caramel macchiato on the Starbucks app

How To Order an Upside-Down Iced Caramel Macchiato on the Starbucks App

  • Under the cold coffees, scroll down to the iced macchiatos
  • Select iced caramel macchiato
  • Choose your cup size and customization options
  • On the same page, press the “Edit” button under the “Shot & Shot Options” tab
  • On the new page that opens to the side, press the “Shot Prep” tab and select the “Upside Down” option that pops up.
  • Press “Done” and “Add to Your Order”
  • Choose your store and place the order

Final Thoughts About the Upside Down Iced Caramel Macchiato

An upside-down caramel macchiato tastes different from the regular caramel macchiato as the former is an inverted version of the latter. Customers who like to taste straight espresso prefer a regular caramel macchiato whereas those who want a softer drink prefer an upside-down caramel macchiato.

The upside-down caramel macchiato has a similar flavor experience to the regular hot caramel macchiato. The regular iced caramel macchiato is similar to the hot upside-down caramel macchiato in terms of how the flavors hit your mouth when you sip on it.


Patrick is first a coffee lover and then a trained barista. His bucket list includes sky diving and sipping on Java in the Himalayas.

Recent Posts