When you get a cup of coffee, you might ask for cream and sugar in it, or maybe a dollop of whipped cream on top, depending on the drink. But what about adding olive oil? Starbucks is about to try it.
Beginning this week, Starbucks says it will be selling three “Starbucks Oleato” beverages in Italy, and five at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Milan, “with more markets coming soon.” The beverages include Starbucks’ arabica coffee infused with extra virgin olive oil from Italian brand Partanna, which “creates an entirely new experience,” the company says.
Available drinks include the Oleato Caffe Latte, the Oleato Ice Shaken Espresso, and the Oleato Golden Foam Cold Brew. Customers at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan will have five Oleato options: the Caffe Latte, the Iced Cortado, the Golden Foam Cold Brew, Deconstructed, and Espresso Martini.
CEO Howard Schultz said in a press release that the idea came from a trip to Sicily he made last year, where he was “introduced to the Mediterranean custom of taking a spoonful of olive oil each day.” One morning, he decided to add it to his coffee, describing the combination as “a delicious and unexpected alchemy.”
The company’s principal beverage developer Amy Dilger said the process of steaming or shaking the olive oil with oat milk creates a “textural experience that’s similar to whole milk.”
While Italy will be the first to try the olive oil-infused coffees, Starbucks plans to bring the drinks to Southern California this spring before expanding into Japan, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom.
“Now, there’s going to be people who say, ‘Olive oil in coffee? But the proof is in the cup. In over 40 years, I can’t remember a moment in time where I’ve been more excited, more enthused that demonstrates the pride, the quality, the passion, the heritage and the craft of what Starbucks can do,” said Schultz.
Starbucks hasn’t said whether there are plans to expand the Oleato beverages to other locations in the U.S.
The coffee giant isn’t the only U.S.-based company trying a new product in Europe. Earlier this month, McDonald’s announced it would roll out plant-based McNuggets at more than 1,400 restaurants in Germany.