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Upside Down Caramel Macchiato: What It Is & How to Order One

You’ve probably heard the customer lining up before ordering a so-called Upside Down Caramel Macchiato, or when the barista calls it out.

Surely the beverage stirred up your curiosity, or else you wouldn’t be here reading this.

An Upside Down Caramel Macchiato is just your Caramel Macchiato made in reverse order. Let us briefly get to the details of your potential new favorite drink.

We’ll teach you how to make a copy of this delicious drink at home and order it for days when you don’t feel like making your coffee.

caramel macchiato in cup

What Is an Upside-Down Caramel Macchiato?

So, what exactly is an Upside Down Caramel Macchiato?

Such a popular beverage is made with the same ingredients as the classic Iced Caramel Macchiato.

The term “upside-down” refers to the order in which these ingredients are added to your cup.

What is added first to the caramel macchiato will be the last thing added to the upside-down version, and that’s the caramel. The caramel syrup goes at the BOTTOM of the cup, then the espresso, sweetened milk, and ice.

You’ll have a drink that looks and tastes different from the unmodified iced caramel macchiato.

Upside Down Caramel Macchiato VS Regular Caramel Macchiato

Changing the order of how ingredients are added to your macchiato will give you an option between two caramel drinks that look and taste different.

Regular Iced Caramel Macchiato

Let’s start by first describing the unmodified yet beautiful Iced Caramel Macchiato, one of the most popular Starbucks beverages.

Starbucks describes this refreshing drink as a “combination of rich and full-bodied espresso with vanilla-flavored syrup, milk, and ice, then topping it with caramel drizzle for an oh-so-sweet finish.”

In terms of the order, the barista adds:

  1. Vanilla syrup to the cup
  2. Then the cold milk and ice
  3. Then the second layer will consist of the coffee espresso shots
  4. To top your drink, the barista takes caramel drizzle, which marks the drink.

You’ll get a layered beverage with a “CM” cup marking.

Since the heavier caramel syrup is added on top, it will eventually sink and mix with the rest of the ingredients as you drink your macchiato. The caramel-ly goodness will taste like an accent.

You’ll taste a great blend of caramel sweetness and milky sweet espresso flavor.

Related Reads: Hot Coffees At Starbucks, Caramel Starbucks Coffee

Upside Down Caramel Macchiato

By simply reversing the order of how the ingredients are added to the unmodified iced caramel macchiato, you’ll get a very different beverage — the Upside Down Caramel Macchiato.

The sequence to make the upside-down version starts with the barista adding:

  1. Pumps of caramel sauce at the bottom of your cup.
  2. The next layer will be your espresso shots.
  3. Added milk and ice will make up the upper layer of your drink this time.
  4. Then, the pumped vanilla syrup will complete your drink.

The upside-down version won’t give you distinct layers. You’ll get a drink whose layers are fused more, but you’ll still get a beautiful mixing of browns and whites.

With your first sip, you’ll notice more caramel flavor immediately. This is unlike the layered flavor of the unmodified drink or the uniform flavor of the stirred drink.

You’ll taste most of all the caramel at the start of your drink and then the milky espresso deliciousness afterward.

How Do You Make an Upside Down Caramel Macchiato?

If you’ve chosen a diet filled with sweet coffee, we’re here for it.

This is how you can make your upside-down caramel macchiato at home with the ingredients that you especially choose. We promise it’ll only take 5 minutes of your time!


Prepare the following ingredients; feel free to choose whatever brand or alternative you’re comfortable with:

  • 2 tbsp. caramel sauce
  • 2 shots of espresso coffee
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 tbsp. vanilla syrup
  • Ice (optional, if you want a cold drink)
  • Whipped cream (optional if you want more creaminess and less coffee flavor)

It surely won’t be an upside-down caramel macchiato without the “caramel.” Make sure you choose a brand you trust, or you can make your own.

If you’re not a big caffeine fan, you can only cut down the coffee of this recipe to 1 espresso shot. We recommend using medium to dark roasts but if you want sweeter coffee, go for blonde roasts.

Many people are particular with the milk in their coffee, so you have a free hand on this. For a rich macchiato, use whole milk or 2% milk.

More milk options that are low in calories are skimmed milk, almond milk, and oat milk, but don’t expect the same creaminess.

Contrary to popular belief, caramel macchiato (a.k.a the most frequently ordered beverage) doesn’t contain only caramel syrup but vanilla syrup too.

You can get a store-bought syrup or make your own.

caramel coffee


After completing all the ingredients, you’re now equipped to be your barista. Remember that the sequence of putting the ingredients in your cup matters, or you’ll end up with the classic version:

  1. Set the caramel syrup at the bottom of your cup, glass, or mug.
  2. Slowly add the coffee. If you do this slowly enough, you can achieve the layering characteristic of macchiatos.
  3. If you opt for a cold drink, add the ice to help layering. Pour in the milk next.
  4. Add in your vanilla syrup.
  5. Sip with a long straw if served cold. Enjoy your very own upside-down caramel macchiato!

How Do You Order a Caramel Macchiato Upside-Down?

If you’re ordering from Starbucks, you can refer to it simply as an upside-down caramel macchiato. The beverage has been gaining popularity, so the barista probably knows what it is already.

If you want to be sure that the barista will give you the drink you’re expecting, you can order a caramel latte with vanilla drizzle. The term may be longer, but it’s easier to say.

If you’re ordering from a different coffee shop, you might have to explain the details of your order more. You’ll have to request the caramel sauce first, then the coffee, milk, ice, and vanilla syrup.

It’s a good thing you’ve stumbled upon this article to know your order by heart!

Frequently Asked Questions

As promised, we’ll give you further details about the upside-down caramel macchiato by answering questions you might have about the beverage.

What Does It Mean for a Macchiato to Be Upside Down?

It means the order of the ingredients is reversed.

If you order an upside-down macchiato, the barista will start pouring the coffee in first before the milk and vanilla drizzle.

You can have practically any drink upside down, such as an upside-down latte — only the sequence of how the ingredients are added changes.

The last thing poured into your regular drink will be the first thing added to the upside-down version of that drink.

Why Do People Order Caramel Macchiato Upside Down?

They order it because the flavors are blended better.

Some people prefer to enjoy their coffee when the flavors are blended instead of layered. This creates a more balanced sipping experience.

This is why there are upside-down caramel macchiato fans. They prefer to drink coffee by enjoying the caramel and milky espresso flavors.

What Is Upside Down Caramel Drizzle?

It’s basically caramel sauce.

Caramel drizzle is the term for caramel used to top your regular Starbucks beverage.

When the caramel is put in first at the bottom of your beverage in an upside-down drink, it is referred to as caramel sauce.

Are You Supposed to Stir Your Macchiato?

This really depends on your preference.

Stir your macchiato if you prefer a more uniform taste.

Its intense caramel flavor in the first sip is distinctive to the upside-down caramel macchiato. If you want the flavors blended, stir your macchiato.

Don’t stir your macchiato to experience it the way it is layered.

Each sip will be different from the one before since the layers are still somehow fused.

Because the caramel settles at the bottom of your cup, you will have a sweet finish at the end of your drinking experience.

What Are the Other Variations of Iced Caramel Macchiatos?

Aside from the upside-down variation, there are the Stirred Iced Caramel Macchiato and the Extra Caramel Iced Caramel Macchiato.

If you order a stirred iced caramel macchiato, the barista will make you the unmodified version and stir it with a spoon.

You’re sure to have uniform flavors with this beverage.

Out of all the variations, this drink will give you a less prominent caramel flavor. As the barista stirs your drink, the caramel stays clinging to the spoon and lessens the amount of caramel in your drink.

Suppose you order an extra caramel iced caramel macchiato.

In that case, the barista drizzles extra caramel all over the cup walls before assembling the classic caramel macchiato.

There’s no need to worry. A little extra caramel drizzle will not bankrupt Starbucks.


There’s always no harm in trying the upside-down caramel macchiato.

It is simple to make in the comforts of your home with ingredients that are easy to find.

If you don’t want to make your coffee, ordering from your nearest Starbucks branch is easy!