To say we’re intrigued is an understatement.
a photo of the new Starbucks drinks with olive oil
Credit: Courtesy of Brand

Yes, really: Starbucks just created a new line of coffee drinks with an especially unique flavor. On February 22, the coffee chain launched three new beverages that all use olive oil as their star ingredient.

The olive oil-infused coffees were inspired by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz's recent trip to Italy. To follow the regional custom of taking a spoonful of olive oil every day, he had the idea to combine this unfamiliar routine with his usual morning ritual, drinking a cup of coffee. After adding Partanna extra-virgin olive oil to his Starbucks coffee, the unexpected happened.

"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 in a release. "In both hot and cold coffee beverages, what it produced was an unexpected, velvety, buttery flavor that enhanced the coffee and lingers beautifully on the palate."

The new drinks include an Oleato Caffè Latte, Oleato Iced Shaken Espresso and the Oleato Golden Foam Cold Brew. The term "Oleato" is a spin on the Latin word for "olive" and the Italian word for "with oil."

The Oleato Caffè Latte is the most simplistic of the bunch, using just Starbucks Blonde Espresso Roast and extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO) as the latte's base. The base is topped with steamed oat milk for a vegan-friendly drink option. 

Similar to the standard Iced Shaken Espresso on Starbucks' menu, the Oleato Iced Shaken Espresso takes the Starbucks Blonde Espresso Roast and transforms it with hazelnut syrup and oat milk. The drink is then shaken with EVOO and ice for a subtly sweet and satisfying sip.

And the Oleato Golden Foam Cold Brew introduces golden foam, a "silky infusion" of EVOO and their beloved vanilla sweet cream cold foam. Topping their cold brew coffee with the golden foam creates a smooth, rich taste throughout the drink.

While the infused flavors are currently only available in Starbucks stores across Italy, they are expected to arrive in Southern California locations this spring. The olive oil coffee line is expected to be introduced internationally later this year.

While we don't know much about the nutritional value of these specialty drinks, it's nice to see a low-calorie, low-saturated-fat alternative like oat milk being the standard in these coffee orders as they get a punch of healthy fat and satiety from the olive oil. The added sugars from the hazelnut syrup and the new golden foam are important to consider. When you decide to order one of these coffees, consider how it fits into the rest of your day, opt for a smaller size or ask for fewer pumps of flavoring to better meet your flavor preferences and nutritional needs.