Last CallLast Call is The Takeout’s online watering hole where you can chat, share recipes, and use the comment section as an open thread. Here’s what we’ve been reading/watching/listening around the office today.  

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”

Photo: Gwen Ihnat

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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]