It's not sweetener.

By Sam Reed
Updated Mar 05, 2019 @ 12:00 pm
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What's in a cloud? Egg-white powder, apparently.

After some teasing on social media, Starbucks and Ariana Grande unveiled a foamy new beverage: the cloud macchiato, available in both cinnamon and caramel flavors.

The powder is what puts the "cloud" in cloud macchiato, resulting in a rich and frothy texture. Though it's common in cocktails and was once a staple in the classic mall rat beverage of choice for the tween set, Orange Julius, we have to admit, we weren't expecting to see it in our coffee drinks.

And while the powder isn't safe for vegans, unlike actual egg whites, there's no worry about salmonella here, since the powder is pasteurized.

The new drink is available in both iced and hot iterations, and is reported to be the coffee chain's solution to the public's declining interest in the once ubiquitous Frappuccino. CNN reports that Starbucks is upping its cold drink offerings as customers angle for something with a tad less sugar than the classic ice-y coffee drink, which can pack upwards of 66 grams per Grande (16 oz) serving. A Grande serving of the caramel cloud macchiato has a approximately a third of the sugar of a Frap, clocking in at 27 grams.

According to the news outlet, the drink was inspired by leche merengada, or "merengue milk."

Grande (the person) and Starbucks teased the collaboration on social media on Monday, when the singer retweeted the coffee chain's cryptic emoji-only message, followed by a cryptic message of her own. The singer's endorsement of the new refreshment is on the nose for a number of reasons — to start, the fact that Grande's last name has been the punny punchline of many a joke about her size.

And then there's the 25-year-old's obsession with clouds, specifically the cloud emoji. But her love of the puffy sky balls goes beyond simple social media flourishes. Last September, she dropped a $40 Cloud perfume, which is available at Ulta.

We've got to commend Grande for knowing her brand.