Starbucks adds olive oil to coffee in new range

Starbucks has launched a range of olive oil-infused coffee drinks

Coffee chain giant Starbucks has announced that it is launching a line of olive oil-infused coffee drinks across its Italy stores.

The company will be using Partanna extra virgin olive oil in its drinks, which apparently offers a “velvety smooth” coffee experience.

Chief executive Howard Schultz has said that the new recipe “unexpected, velvety, buttery flavour... enhanced the coffee and lingers beautifully on the palate”.

US-owned comapany Starbucks has around 20 stores in Italy. The country is known for its independent and family-run cafes, and the chain’s presence is somewhat controversial for coffee fanatics in the region.

“Now, there’s going to be people who say, olive oil in coffee? But the proof is in the cup,” Schultz wrote on the company’s website.

The company will introduce the range, titled “Oleato”, to a selection of hot and iced drinks on its menus. After its Italy debut on Wednesday (22 February), it will be sold in stores in Southern California in the US this spring, before being released in the UK, Middle East and Japan, later this year.

The name is a play on the Latin word for “olive” and Italian word meaning “with oil”.

The drinks will be infused with Partanna extra virgin olive oil (Starbucks)
The drinks will be infused with Partanna extra virgin olive oil (Starbucks)

The range will be available in an iced shaken espresso, a latte and a bold brew coffee.

Starbucks said the cold brew is a “silky infusion of Partanna extra virgin oil with vanilla sweet cream foam... slowly cascades through the beverage”.

Starbuck’s new range is expected to spark controversy in Italy. Already, social media users aren’t convinced by the new recipe.

“Is this a desperate diversification to target proper coffee-drinking Italians,” wrote one person on Twitter.

“I thought Starbucks couldn’t do worse than that god awful battery acid pineapple drink or the pistachio drinks but now they’re making olive oil coffee apparently,” added another.

One person wrote: “I’m really not convinced that putting olive oil in coffee is going to help Starbucks win over Italian coffee drinkers.”

In 2018, some Italians called for a boycott of Starbucks when it announced plans to open its first Italian store in Milan.

At the time, Mr Schultz said: “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.”