Food and Drink

Starbucks launches olive oil drinks, but is the combo really that odd?

The coffee company first introduced the variety of olive oil beverages in select locations last February.

Lineup of Starbucks' new 'Oleato' drinks infused with olive oil.

Starbucks will start serving its line of olive oil-infused coffee drinks across all of its U.S. stores on Tuesday, nearly a year after the bewildering beverages debuted at a few select stores. 

There are two olive oil drinks on the menu you can try: the Oleato Caffe Latte, a traditional oat milk latte infused with Partanna extra virgin olive oil; and the Oleato Golden Foam Iced Shaken Espresso, with a new Toffeenut iced shaken espresso flavor and golden foam, which is simply vanilla sweet cream infused with the extra virgin olive oil. Starbucks said you can add the golden foam to any of its beverages. 

The coffee company said the “innovative” drinks were conjured up after former CEO Howard Schultz became intrigued with the Mediterranean ritual of taking a spoonful of olive oil a day. 

“I was absolutely stunned at the unique flavor and texture created when the Partanna extra virgin olive oil was infused into Starbucks coffee,” Schultz said. 

And so, the Oleato drinks — meaning “oiled” in Italian — were born. 

Starbucks said it partnered with Italian extra virgin olive oil brand Partanna because of its more than 100 years of tradition in the business. The blend of extra virgin olive oil created for the drinks includes one of the most coveted — Nocellara del Belice olives, or Castelvetrano, which are known for their vibrant and buttery flavor, Starbucks explained. 

“It is a revelation in coffee, one that is luxurious and next-level,” said Starbucks. 

While the company described its olive oil drinks as “innovative,” adding olive oil into peculiar fares is nothing new. 

The liquid has long been used in baked goods, including cakes, brownies and cookies due to its mild flavor and ability to make the sweet treats moist without feeling dense. 

Though the exact origins are unclear, olive oil cake is believed to have been around since the time of ancient Greeks and Romans. It is often associated with the holidays, as several Mediterranean countries enjoy it during the festive season. 

Olive oil ice cream has also been around for several years, with small-batch creameries from New York City to San Francisco blending it into vanilla and citrus flavors that pair well with the oil’s natural buttery notes. 

Recently, TikTok videos highlighting the combination of olive oil and ice cream have become a new viral food trend. In most of these videos, users take a scoop (or two) of vanilla ice cream and drizzle it with olive oil rather than mixing it in. Celebrities like singer Dua Lipa have even touted the decadent dessert. 

Ice cream on its own is generally considered an unhealthy food, but studies have shown consuming more than half a tablespoon of olive oil per day can lower your risk for heart disease. Olive oil is also a keystone ingredient in the Mediterranean diet, which experts have crowned as the healthiest and most popular diet for seven consecutive years. 

Starbucks now allows personal cups for all orders, including mobile
Starbucks now allows personal cups for all orders, including mobile

Starbucks now allows personal cups for all orders, including mobile

This is the first time in the U.S. a national coffeehouse is allowing customers to use personal cups for mobile orders for all drinks and sizes.