The official Starbucks Twitter account posted a couple of cryptic tweets on Monday afternoon that had fans scratching their heads. It began with Starbucks posting a photo of a conspicuously heart-shaped cloud. A short time after that, the company posted a coffee mug emoji surrounded by cloud emojis, and followed by a green heart emoji. To top it off, Grande retweeted the company, then posted her own version of a similar emoji sequence, followed by the date "3/5."
Of course, Grande has been associated with the company in jokes before, since her last name matches the cafe's name for a small drink. Many fans speculated that Starbucks might be taking advantage of that comparison to brand a drink with Grande's likeness, capitalizing on her overwhelming fame at the moment.
🌫☕️☁️🖤.... @starbucks 3/5— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) March 4, 2019
The posts are all intended to drive interest in Starbucks' upcoming Cloud Machiato, according to a report by Business Insider. The outlet got a look at Starbucks' internal documents divulging the collaboration, which will reportedly be an espresso-based drink with cold whipped foam and a caramel drizzle. The new cross-promotional stunt follows the release of Grande's Cloud perfume last month.
As fans know, clouds are a common motif in Grande's work and her social media posts. While Business Insider reported on the meaning of the posts, the information did not make it to the large Twitter audience, where fans continued to guess at the mystery.
Starbucks continued to post photos of clouds throughout the day on Monday, inviting fans to interpret what they could see in the images.
Zoom in on the heart. 💚 pic.twitter.com/h9MuCBJQRo— Starbucks Coffee (@Starbucks) March 4, 2019
"I SWEAR IF THEY BRING A DRINK OUT WITH YOUR NAME I'M GONNA SCREAM," one fan tweeted.
Fan theories varied widely, though most assumed that Grande and Starbucks were teasing a collaboration of some kind. Most figured that she was contributing to a line of signature drinks, though some wondered whether Starbucks could be sponsoring Grande's upcoming tour, or participating in her work in some other way.
Another post on Starbucks' Instagram page showed what appeared to be sugar packed into the shape of clouds, perhaps drawing some indication toward her last album title, Sweetener. After that, a similar post showed a cloud shaped mass changing color on contact with water, giving rise to the theory that it might a bath bomb in the works.
View this post on Instagram
In addition, fans pointed to Grande's appearance in a Pennsylvania Target store over the weekend, where she posed for photos with fans. Target and Starbucks work closely together, with most Target stores now featuring a Starbucks inside.
The Cloud Machiato, and whatever else Grande and Starbucks are cooking up, will be officially announced on Tuesday.