Last Call: What shade is your perfect toast?

Illustration for article titled Last Call: What shade is your perfect toast?

Let’s share toast preferences!


Social media is like second-grade show-and-tell, in that it promotes the idea that every single one of us has a special story and unique quirk the world needs to celebrate. (Yes, we all see your collection of scented rubber-stamp pads, Ava.) But sometimes these minute preferences are, I’ll admit, kind of fascinating. Exhibit A: This tweet that’s been making the rounds, asking people simply to point to which level of toast-doneness they prefer. I’m a 3H. You? [Kate Bernot]

I don’t think this Cloud Macchiato is a “like a cozy, coffee-flavored bubble bath”

Illustration for article titled Last Call: What shade is your perfect toast?
Photo: Gwen Ihnat

The Washington Post was all hopped-up about the new (unlikely) collaboration between Starbucks and pop star Ariana Grande: the Cloud Macchiato, available in both cinnamon and caramel varieties. Intrigued, I purchased the cinnamon version, described on the Starbucks website thusly: “Bold espresso cascades through light, fluffy layers of foam, topped with a drizzle of flavor.” The foam is actually made from egg-white powder, adding a certain healthy stiffness to the macchiato foam. Anyway, the foam holds up well and does not instantly dissolve into the coffee. The Post is more poetic about it than I am: “Like a down comforter for your coffee, it is luxurious without being ostentatious.” And at least, as the Post points out, it’s not named after a mermaid or a unicorn, and doesn’t try to tell your fortune.

But as with most of these Starbucks specialty items, I can barely taste anything but sugar, except for a slight welcome tinge of citrus. I hate a coffee drink that makes me feel like I need to brush my teeth to prevent cavities immediately afterward. I think Starbucks should offer this impressive egg-white-powder foam with other (non-sugary) drinks, but this is the first and last Cloud Macchiato for me. Thank you, next coffee. [Gwen Ihnat]

Gwen Ihnat is the Editorial Coordinator for The A.V. Club.

Kate Bernot is a freelance writer and a certified beer judge. She was previously managing editor at The Takeout.



Am I missing something? Why is this presented as a 2D matrix? Are higher numbers a different treatment than higher letters? Do 2A and 1B receive identical toast time?

If so, why isn’t this portrayed as the simple linear gradient of doneness it is instead of this convoluted faux-graphical garbage?