Starbucks' Olive Oil in Coffee: Is It Worth a Try?

Nov 26, 2023 • Shirnyl Dorothy Magos

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Are you looking for a simple way to get healthier fats and make your morning coffee last longer? If so, try adding some olive oil to your coffee! For centuries, olive oil has been used extensively throughout the Mediterranean because of its many beneficial properties. But, in recent years, olive oil has also found its way into the coffee world! 

Olive oil in coffee seems unusual, but it can give you a quick burst of energy and help you feel full and satisfied for a long time. Thanks to the healthy fats in olive oil! 

In this article, these are the main points we are going to explore about Starbucks’ olive oil in coffee:

  • What does olive oil in your coffee do?
  • Why is Starbucks adding olive oil to coffee?
  • Is the Starbucks olive oil coffee drink healthy?
  • Why is olive oil an integral part of several blue zones' diets?

Why Is Starbucks Adding Olive Oil To Coffee?

Given all these benefits, it's no wonder Starbucks has started adding olive oil to some of its coffee drinks. Plus, Starbucks is adding olive oil to coffee is that it enhances the flavor of the coffee. The fruity and nutty flavors of olive oil complement the bitterness of coffee, creating a well-rounded and enjoyable taste. It also gives the coffee a smooth and creamy texture, similar to a latte.

But why exactly is Starbucks doing this? Let’s start with a little story.

Starbucks new line of coffee
Starbuck's Oleato

The inspiration behind Starbucks’ olive oil in coffee

Once upon a time, Howard Schultz, the interim chief executive officer, traveled to Sicily. There, he learned about the Mediterranean practice of consuming a spoonful of olive oil daily. Since then, Schultz began including a spoonful of Partanna extra virgin olive oil in his daily routine alongside his morning coffee. At some point, he explored the possibility of fusing the two ingredients. Then, boom! He discovered a delicious and incredible alchemy of Starbucks coffee beverages infused with Partanna extra virgin olive oil.

“I was stunned at the unique flavor and texture created when the Partanna extra virgin olive oil was infused into Starbucks coffee. In both hot and cold coffee beverages, it produced an unexpected, velvety, buttery flavor that enhanced the coffee and lingered beautifully on the palate.” - Howard Schultz.

Oleato, Starbucks' coffee infused with Partanna extra virgin olive oil, is the result of Howard Schultz and Starbucks' latest Italian inspiration. This new beverage was launched on February 22, at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan and in Italian Starbucks locations.


Is The Starbucks Olive Oil Coffee Drink Healthy?

Starbucks' olive oil coffee drink may be delicious and unique, but is it healthy? The answer is complex.

As discussed earlier, olive oil can help increase satiety, provide sustained energy, and improve cognitive function. It is also rich in antioxidants and healthy fats, which can protect against heart disease, stroke, and certain types of cancer.

Remember that the amount of olive oil used in the Starbucks olive oil coffee drink may need to be more significant to provide excellent health benefits. The olive oil used in the coffee is likely more for flavor and texture than anything else.

Additionally, the Starbucks olive oil coffee drink contains added sugar, which can negate some potential health benefits of olive oil. The added sugar can lead to weight gain, inflammation, and an increased risk of chronic diseases.

So, while the Starbucks olive oil coffee drink may be less likely to provide significant health benefits on the menu, the key is to enjoy it in moderation and as part of a balanced and healthy diet.

What Does Olive Oil In Your Coffee Do?

We understand that adding olive oil to coffee can sound strange. However, many coffee enthusiasts have found that doing so has surprising benefits. It has been suggested that adding olive oil to coffee has several advantages, some of which are listed below.

It increases feelings of fullness.

You can make yourself feel fuller faster by mixing olive oil with your coffee because monounsaturated fats in olive oil and caffeine in coffee make you feel full quicker. Hence, your calorie intake for the day will be reduced.

In addition, the monounsaturated fats found in olive oil can supply prolonged energy, which can be very useful for individuals seeking a boost before working out or a pick-me-up in the middle of the day.

It enhances mental performance.

Olive oil in coffee has been shown to have cognitive-enhancing effects. According to research, it was found that there is a direct correlation between the consumption of good fats like those found in olive oil and enhanced cognitive performance. After all, fat makes up the majority of the brain's composition. 

Furthermore, there is evidence that the antioxidants included in olive oil can help protect the brain from oxidative stress that can contribute to a loss of cognitive function.

It supports heart health.

As olive oil is an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, the use of which has been associated with enhanced cardiovascular health. Regular consumption of olive oil may lower one's chance of developing cardiovascular disease.

It contains antioxidants

Olive oil contains polyphenols, potent antioxidants that can help protect against oxidative damage and inflammation in the body.

It adds to the flavor of your coffee.

Olive oil gives off a sweet and nutty note to balance the sharpness of coffee. Plus, it makes your coffee taste and feels like a latte when you drink it. Hence, you get to start the day with a well-rounded and pleasant-tasting cup of coffee!

Why Olive Oil Is Such An Integral Part Of Several Blue Zones Diets

Blue Zones are regions worldwide where people tend to live longer and healthier lives than the rest of the world. These regions include Ikaria, Greece; Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; and Loma Linda, California.

One common thread among these Blue Zones is their diets, which are plant-based and high in healthy fats. So, why is olive oil integral to these Blue Zones diets?

Although other healthful plant-based oils exist, olive oil is most commonly utilized in the Blue Zones diet. They use extra-virgin olive oil like it's butter. They use it to sauté vegetables over low heat and drizzle it over steamed or boiled vegetables. The consumption of olive oil has been shown to raise "good" cholesterol while reducing "bad" cholesterol.

For instance, it was discovered that middle-aged Ikarians who consumed roughly six tablespoons of olive oil daily had a 50% lower risk of dying than those who did not. 

Furthermore, whole grains and legumes are staples in the diets and meals of people living in Blue Zones, along with seasonal fruits and vegetables.

And, for those looking to incorporate more olive oil into their diet, exploring the diets of Blue Zones can provide some inspiration and guidance.


Dorothy is a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian (RND) and teaches food and nutrition at a university. She is also a freelance writer and a fitness enthusiast. As a coffee lover, she appreciates the taste of a well-pressed cup of coffee and the beautiful complexity of each brewing method.

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