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Olive Oil In Coffee: History, Benefits & the Starbucks Oleato

Ryan Marshall
Last Updated: March 7th, 2023

Olive oil in coffee may have not gained popularity internationally, but it has become much more prevalent and popular over recent years. In fact, there are many different Hollywood celebrities who have touted the benefits of drinking olive oil, and mixing it with coffee is a great way to add this healthy oil to your daily diet.

With the coffee giant Starbucks recently adding the “Oleato” drink to their menu, more and more coffee enthusiasts have been wondering what all the fuss is about surrounding olive oil and coffee.

In this article, we will take a deeper dive into the origins and health benefits of drinking olive oil, as well as the new Starbucks drink and other oils that are commonly mixed with coffee beverages.

Olive Oil in Coffee – Origins

origins of drinking olive oil

Olive oil is considered a “staple” ingredient in certain parts of the world, and the Greeks and Romans were some of the earliest proponents of consuming olive oil for health purposes. It has long been ingested, as well as applied topically to the skin to help with all different types of ailments.

In recent years, there have been a number of different Hollywood celebrities that have brought added attention to olive oil for health benefits, including the Kardashians and Beyonce. Many celebrities and influencers take small “shots” of olive oil on a daily basis and more and more are choosing to add it to their coffee or tea.

There have also been many different studies conducted in recent years that have proven the Mediterranean diet to be one of the healthiest in the entire world. Olive oil is a major part of the Mediterranean diet, as it provides everything from antioxidants to healthy fats to the body when consumed regularly.

Health Benefits of Olive Oil

health benefits of olive oil

While many people assume that all fats are bad, and should thus be avoided for a healthy lifestyle, there is a major difference between “bad fats” and “healthy fats.” Olive oil contains a high concentration of monounsaturated fats, which have been involved in cancer prevention studies.

High-quality extra virgin olive oil is known to contain powerful antioxidants, which have been tied to everything from better heart health to disease prevention. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, which help the body function correctly and aids with stiff joints and chronic aches.

The Starbucks Oleato

the starbucks oleato

The legend behind the Starbucks Oleato is that one of the company’s top executives was inspired to add olive oil to a coffee beverage after touring an olive oil plant while visiting Italy. This combination is far from commonplace in the country, however, and the drink was actually constructed after the executive’s return to the states.

The first three iterations of Starbucks will only be available in Italy at first, as the drink will start with a trial period at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan, Italy. Southern California is the next market where the drink will be available, followed by Japan, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom.

The Starbucks Oleato Caffè Latte is the lone hot olive oil-infused coffee beverage in the lineup, and it is made using the company’s signature Blonde Roast espresso along with steamed oat milk which settles on top.

Many at Starbucks anticipate the Oleato Iced Shaken Espresso to be the top seller of the three options once released to the market, as the company looks to build on the success of other iced shaken espresso drinks. It is also made with oat milk, along with high-quality extra virgin olive oil.

The Starbucks Oleato Golden Foam Cold Brew is by far the most visually interesting of the three Oleato beverages, and it prominently features a golden head of olive oil-infused cold foam on top. This golden cold foam slowly drips downward and integrates into the cold brew base beautifully.

The reaction to the unveiling of these three new beverages has been mixed, as many people are confused at first by the idea of an olive oil and coffee combination. There are others who are eagerly awaiting the release of Oleato drinks in their market, and it seems that the majority of the buzz surrounding the drink is based on curiosity.

Other Oils in Coffee

other oil in coffee

While adding olive oil to coffee is fairly small and a new phenomenon, there are other types of oil that are much more commonplace in cafes and coffee shops. Bulletproof coffee is one of the most popular examples of oil mixed with coffee, and it has inspired many people to add different types of oil to their own coffee drinks.

The recipe for Bulletproof coffee includes both grass-fed butter and MCT oils, both of which are thought to provide increased energy and appetite-suppressing qualities long into the afternoon after a morning cup.

The Bulletproof brand sells its own lines of everything from coffee beans to high-quality MCT oil, though there are many who choose to mix their own versions at home to save money. Coconut oil is another healthy fat that people add to coffee and tea, and many people hail its benefit with hair, skin, and nail growth.

There are also a number of different food-grade essential oils that are commonly added to coffee and tea beverages. Some people use essential oils to naturally add flavors like peppermint to coffee, while others use essential oils strictly for health benefits.

Olive Oil in Coffee – Final Thoughts

While the idea of adding olive oil to coffee was essentially unheard of up until recent years, the combination has seen a major rise in popularity after the coffee giant Starbucks announced the unveiling of three olive oil-infused coffee drinks.

The Oleato line of beverages is currently only available in Italy, though it is set for expansion to other markets around the world in the coming months.

Feel free to leave a comment below if you regularly add olive oil to your coffee, and be sure to let other coffee enthusiasts know your favorite olive oil-infused coffee recipes!

About The Author

Ryan Marshall

Ryan is a full time freelance writer who can most often be found on the disc golf course or local coffee shop when not behind a keyboard. He is an avid traveler and lover of all things sports and outdoors. Ryan is also a certified level one sommelier, and is endlessly curious about the world of high end beverages. Writing about wine, coffee, and other specialty beverages has given him a chance to take a deeper dive into his research, and he loves helping people find the perfect drink for their palates and preferences!

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