The upside-down caramel macchiato is a magical drink that will make you feel like you’re cheating on your favorite coffee shop.

It’s a perfect treat for those of you that are looking to spice up your morning routine. But what exactly is it?

An upside-down caramel macchiato is a variation of the classic recipe. In this version, the caramel sauce is added to the bottom of the cup before adding the espresso, milk, and ice and finishing it with vanilla syrup.

This creates a stronger flavor profile as well as makes for a more visually appealing drink.

In this article, you’ll get all the information that you need to order this delicious drink on your next trip to Starbucks. I’ve also listed a complete guide to making this drink at home!

What is an upside-down caramel macchiato?

The upside-down caramel macchiato is a coffee from Starbucks that is made by pouring caramel sauce into the bottom of a cup, adding espresso, milk, ice cubes, and then topping it with vanilla syrup.

Starbucks mentions that the upside-down caramel macchiato is for people who want to have a little bit of everything in each sip.

It’s a great way to enjoy your favorite drink, with the same flavors but with a different mouthfeel.

Is a caramel macchiato better upside down?

Some people believe that coffee is best enjoyed when the flavors are allowed to swirl and mix together.

For this reason, some people prefer to drink their caramel macchiato upside down. By doing so, they feel that they are able to enjoy all of the flavors of the drink more fully.

Upside-down caramel macchiato, ready to drink.

I prefer drinking upside-down caramel macchiatos over the regular version. It’s much more balanced in taste, and it creates a nice caramel-flavored foam on the first sips.

Plus, it’s a fun way to drink your coffee and it looks amazing!

Are you supposed to stir your macchiato?

It depends on your preference. Some people like to stir their macchiato in order to blend the ingredients together, while others prefer to drink it with the vanilla syrup on top and caramel sauce on the bottom.

I recommend not stirring your upside-down caramel macchiato because it’s supposed to be sipped in the order that the coffee is layered.

It’s all about the distinctive layers in your drink. Each sip of your coffee will be different from the one before, making it more exciting to drink.

An upside-down caramel macchiato will have flavors of vanilla first, followed by milk and robust espresso. It’s finished with the amazing caramel flavor at the bottom.

If you prefer starting with the caramel first, then ordering a regular caramel macchiato might be a better fit for you.

Even so, it depends on the flavor you’re looking for in your drink. Go for it if you like the taste when the drink is fully mixed!

Ingredients needed to make an upside-down caramel macchiato

The ingredients you need to make an upside-down caramel macchiato at home are as follows:

  • Whole milk
  • Espresso coffee
  • Vanilla syrup
  • Caramel sauce
  • Ice cubes
All the ingredients you need to make an upside-down caramel macchiato at home.

You can use any type of milk you want for an upside-down caramel macchiato. However, if you want to make a creamy and rich drink, I recommend using whole milk or 2% milk.

Skimmed milk or almond milk will work as well, but they won’t produce the same level of richness and creaminess.

You can use store-bought vanilla syrup and caramel sauce to make this recipe within a few minutes.

However, if you have the time and would like to make the sweeteners yourself, you can check out the recipe for the vanilla syrup here.

If you’d also like to make the homemade caramel sauce, you can check out this complete guide.

Caramel sauce, ready to use.

As for the espresso coffee, you can use a single or double espresso shot for this recipe.

If you prefer a sweeter drink, go with one espresso shot. If you’d instead prefer a more espresso-forward drink, a double espresso shot is the way to go.

Which coffee beans are best used for this recipe?

You can use various coffee beans for your espresso basis.

Medium and dark roasted coffee beans are most often used for espresso coffee. Espresso beans are darker roasted than regular coffee beans, which will give your coffee a different flavor profile.

If you want a sweeter flavor, blonde roast coffee beans are amazing.

There is a big difference in taste when comparing blonde and dark roasted coffee. You can read all about their differences and which is stronger in this article.

Medium roasted and dark roasted coffee beans next to each other.
Medium roast on the left. Dark roast on the right

Blonde roasted coffee packs more caffeine than an espresso shot made with a darker roast as well.

If you want to find out about the caffeine difference, you can read more about it here.

How do you make an upside-down caramel macchiato at home?

Making an upside-down caramel macchiato at home can be done using the following steps:

  1. Brew the espresso shots. Use one or two, depending on the sweetness you prefer.
  2. Once brewed, cool the espresso coffee slightly.
  3. Pour the caramel sauce on the bottom of your favorite glass.
  4. Add the espresso to the caramel sauce.
  5. Top with milk and ice cubes.
  6. Finish with vanilla syrup, add a straw to the drink, and enjoy!

As I’ve mentioned before, you can choose to stir everything together before taking a sip, or you can enjoy it with all its layers.

Now that you know about the steps involved, have a look below for the complete recipe that you can follow:

Upside-Down Caramel Macchiato

Homemade upside-down caramel macchiato.

This upside-down caramel macchiato is a refreshing drink you can make on a hot summer day, so you can slowly sip on it!

Prep Time 3 minutes
Additional Time 2 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1/2 cup (0.12 l) of whole milk
  • One or two espresso shots
  • 1 tbsp (15 grams) of vanilla syrup
  • 1 tbsp (15 grams) of caramel sauce
  • Ice cubes


  1. To start this recipe off, begin by brewing your espresso coffee. You can use a single or double espresso shot.
  2. Once the espresso coffee is brewed, cool it slightly. I like to add an ice cube to speed up the process.
  3. Grab a glass of choice and add the caramel sauce to the bottom.
  4. Add the cooled espresso coffee to the glass. Optionally, you can give this a quick stir.
  5. Pour the milk into the glass.
  6. Add enough ice cubes to cool the drink completely. I like to fill the glass to about halfway with ice cubes.
  7. Finish the drink by drizzling the vanilla syrup over the drink.
  8. Serve with a long straw and enjoy!


I suggest serving this drink as soon as possible, so you and your guests can enjoy those fantastic layers that this drink has!

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Nutrition Information:

Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 158Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 2.2gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 51.1mgCarbohydrates: 22.1gSugar: 23.4gProtein: 3.9g


If you’re looking for an interesting and tasty coffee drink to make at home, give the upside-down caramel macchiato a try!

It’s easy to make and is sure to impress your friends and family.

I love that it’s easy to make at home, with ingredients that you might already have at home. Instead of needing to go out, you can stay home and enjoy a chilled beverage in minutes!

Do you like making iced coffee at home? Make sure to have a look below for some more easy-to-make coffee recipes you can try.

More iced coffee recipes

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