I Tried Starbucks’ New Apple Crisp Macchiato — Here’s My Honest Review

published Aug 27, 2021
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Starbucks apple crisp macchiato
Credit: Laurel Randolph

As someone who lives in southern California, I can’t help but roll my eyes every time Pumpkin Spice Latte season rolls around. It shows up earlier and earlier every year, blatantly ignoring the late-summer heat. (It’s a little hard to get into the fall spirit when I’m sweating buckets in my apartment!)

And just like clockwork, Starbucks released their fall menu this week. There were a few recurring favorites, like the iconic PSL and the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew, along with an all-new addition: the Apple Crisp Macchiato. I’ll admit that when I heard about this iced drink I was puzzled. Apple and coffee? Are you sure? It sounded like an unusual combo, but at least it was served cold. I decided to keep an open mind and visit my nearest Starbucks to try it out.

The autumn concoction consists of espresso, milk, apple-brown sugar syrup, and a “spiced apple drizzle.” Like all Starbucks drinks, there is infinite room for customization, from swapping out for non-dairy milk to asking for more or less sweetener. For an accurate-as-possible taste test (I am nothing if not professional), I ordered the drink as is. A tall Apple Crisp Macchiato will set you back just under $5.


NEW Apple Crisp Macchiato! 🍎 Not your typical caramel macchiato. #starbucks #starbucksdrinks #bayarea #fall #sweet #applecrispmacchiato

♬ Electric Love – BØRNS

My Honest Review

The first thing I noticed upon receiving my drink was the layers. The syrup forms a dark layer at the bottom, followed by a thick layer of milk topped with brown espresso. While it’s pretty, I don’t recommend drinking it as is — ask for a straw (or, better yet, bring a reusable one) and give it a good stir to mix up all of the ingredients.

The verdict? After my first sip, I wasn’t sure. The coffee and milk tastes nice, but it had a distinct fake apple flavor. I wasn’t sure, so I took another drink. The candy apple taste faded a bit, making it more balanced. The brown sugar is a nice touch; it made me want to put brown sugar simple syrup in all of my iced coffee from now on. I handed it over to my husband and he promptly drank the entire thing. To be fair, he goes for sweet drinks more than I do, so he’s definitely more in the target market. (It’s worth noting that a tall Apple Crisp Macchiato contains a whopping 46 grams of sugar.) He didn’t mind the apple flavor one bit and even said he’d order it again.

One TikTok reviewer compared the Apple Crisp Macchiato to drinking a coffee and eating an apple cider doughnut at the same time, and I can’t disagree. If this sounds like a nice experience to you, try it out. Overall, I didn’t hate it, but it was too sweet for my tastes and I’m still not sure about apple and coffee. If I ordered it again I’d request less syrup for a lighter, less sweet drink. Now, actual apple crisp served with a cup of coffee? That I can get into.