Starbucks is launching olive oil infused-coffee

An image of the new olive oil-infused coffee range from Starbucks. (Starbucks)
Starbucks is launching a new olive oil-infused coffee range. (Starbucks)

Coffee and olive oil are two things we would never have put together, but these ingredients are the basis of Starbucks’ latest line of beverages.

Launching in Italy this week with a view to coming to the UK later this year, Starbucks Oleato is a range of three new drinks from the coffee house, all including olive oil.

Olive oil is a known source of antioxidants with high amounts of vitamins E and K and has anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce the risk of diseases such as cancer, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s and type 2 diabetes.

According to the British Heart Foundation, increasing your olive oil consumption by 10g a day could cut your risk of a heart attack or heart disease by 10%.

Read more: Olive oil still healthy when we cook with it, research suggests

Researchers from the 2014 study looked at the impact of following a Mediterranean diet – which includes a high consumption of olive oil – on more than 7,200 adult men and women to find the results.

The charity recommends adding olive oil to meals by way of a salad dressing, and says that it is considered a healthy fat like avocados are.

The three new Starbucks beverages. (Starbucks)
The three new Starbucks beverages (from L to R): Starbucks Oleato™ Golden Foam™ Cold Brew, Starbucks Oleato™ Iced Shaken Espresso, and Starbucks Oleato™ Caffè Latte. (Starbucks)

In a message to customers, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said he was inspired to create the new drinks after spending this past summer in Italy.

“This summer, I was once again captivated by a transformational idea while traveling through Italy. I came across a time-honoured tradition that transformed my coffee experience and improved my life. It was wholly unexpected, yet the possibilities filled me with excitement,” he said in a statement.

Read more: This top-rated £100 coffee machine is now under £30

He explained that while he was in Sicily he adopted the Italian custom of having a daily spoonful of olive oil, and soon began adding it to his coffee which he said produced an “unexpected, velvety, buttery flavour that enhanced the coffee and lingers beautifully on the palate”.

“Now, there's going to be people who say, 'Olive oil in coffee? But the proof is in the cup,” Schultz added.

The three drinks include a Caffè Latte, a blonde espresso roast infused with olive oil and made with oat milk; an Iced Shaken Espresso with notes of hazelnut and made with oat milk; and and a Golden Foam™ Cold Brew, which sees the Partanna extra virgin olive oil infused into the cold foam.

Read more: Yet another health benefit of coffee has been revealed

The new beverages will debut in Milan initially before being rolled out to the 20 stores across Italy. The company then plans to launch it in Southern California, before taking it to Japan, the Middle East, and the UK.

Starbucks first launched in Italy in 2018 but was faced with a call to boycott by some Italians.

“We are not coming to teach Italians how to make coffee. We're coming here with humility and respect, to show what we've learned,” Schultz said at the time.

And if you needed any more convincing of the benefits of olive oil, a separate study indicated its life-extending potential. The research published in 2022 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology analysed the diets of 90,000 men and women over a 28-year period and found that those who consumed the most olive oil – more than half a tablespoon per day – were likely to live longer than those who consumed less olive oil.

Watch: How to make a Lemon Olive Oil Cake