What to Know Before You Start Adding Olive Oil to Your Coffee at Home

The announcement of the new Starbucks Oleato line has sparked a major question: Should we all be adding olive oil to our coffee?

Olive oil and coffee are staple ingredients for many foodies … but happens if you combine them? You may have heard the buzz (pun intended) around the addition of the Oleato line of coffee drinks featuring olive oil to menus at select Starbucks locations. But is this trend actually good for you? Should you start adding olive oil to your other favorite drinks at home? Here’s what to know before you start buying olive oil in bulk.

The Buzz Around the Starbucks Oleato Line

Just last month, Starbucks launched its Oleato line, featuring three new extra virgin olive oil–infused coffee drinks. The line is inspired by the Mediterranean tradition of taking a spoonful of olive oil in the morning, at the same time that many people may also be enjoying a cup of coffee or shot of espresso. The Starbucks team had the idea to combine the two, and voila, the Oleato line was born.

While most people can’t get these drinks at their local Starbucks just yet—they are currently available in Italy, but will be introduced to Southern California stores in early spring, followed by Japan, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom later this year—it’s likely only a matter of time before the Oleato line will be available to you.

Are Olive Oil Coffee Drinks Good for You?

The hubbub about this new launch from Starbucks begs the question: Are olive oil coffee drinks good for you? Like the bulletproof coffee trend of the last decade, which combined coffee with either MCT oil or grass-fed butter, adding olive oil to coffee can offer some benefits.

When it comes to olive oil’s interaction with coffee, olive oil coats the lining of the stomach, which can slow the absorption of the caffeine from coffee. This can help you to avoid the crash that often follows a cup of joe. This coating capacity of olive oil can also help to neutralize some of the acidity from coffee.

Olive oil in and of itself is a superfood with its own impressive benefits. It is full of heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, which help to reduce your bad (low-density lipoprotein or LDL) cholesterol while increasing your good (high-density lipoprotein or HDL) cholesterol, which can help to prevent heart disease. Olive oil has also been found to lower blood pressure, another key player in heart disease.

Fats, including olive oil, slow digestion, helping you to feel fuller longer and offering sustained energy. This means that fats also dull the blood sugar response, helping us to avoid big spikes in blood sugars after eating. While this is great news for those with diabetes or other metabolic conditions, it will also help the rest of us to avoid the crashes that can sometimes occur after eating.

Olive oil is also full of nutrients including vitamin E and plant compounds. Vitamin E is a super effective antioxidant, helping to reduce inflammation and boost immune function. (Plus, it promotes glowing skin … and who doesn’t love that?) Plant compounds or plant polyphenols are also antioxidants that help to fight off free radicals that can cause chronic illness. Plus, they have been found to ward off signs of aging and neurodegenerative diseases. In fact, one review found that consuming olive oil may help prevent or delay onset of Alzheimer’s disease, while another meta-analysis found olive oil to be associated with prevention of all types of cancer.

Plus, olive oil helps us to absorb fat-soluble vitamins—vitamins A, D, E, and K. You might be surprised to learn that, no matter how many foods rich in these vitamins we eat, our bodies won’t reap the benefits without consuming fat at the same time. Given the other amazing benefits of olive oil, it’s a great fat choice to help with that absorption. 

Pouring olive oil into a spoon with blue photo treatment

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The Bottom Line

Given that you can’t quite get your hands on the Oleato line yet, should you start mixing olive oil into your coffee at home? Well, there’s certainly no harm in doing so. Though, if you do want to give it a try, make sure to use a high-quality extra virgin olive oil. EVOO, as Rachael Ray famously nicknamed it, is less processed and maintains more of its nutrients. It will also have a more refined taste, giving a nutty sweetness to your coffee, though many olive oil–coffee fans claim that they don’t even taste it at all. However, if the taste does deter you, try adding cinnamon, honey, or your milk of choice into the mix.

To try mixing coffee and olive oil yourself, mix about one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil into your coffee (plus any other desired mix-ins) with a hand-held drink mixer or blender, otherwise it will separate. You could also try adding olive oil to other drinks, but the taste may not be as palatable.

You can reap all the wonderful benefits of olive oil by simply using it in your cooking, too, if the idea of drinking olive oil doesn’t excite you. Cooking with olive oil not only gives your food great flavor, but the oil will also capture all the fat-soluble vitamins, ready for your body to absorb upon digging in.

While there are some potential benefits to drinking coffee fortified with olive oil, you certainly don’t need to jump on this particular bandwagon to reap the health benefits of this fruity oil. Cooking with olive oil and using it in sauces, dressings, and baked goods will help to improve your health all the same. But for those wanting to give the Oleato line a try, stay tuned: The day they’re available at your local Starbucks is probably closer than you think.

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  1. Psaltopoulou, Theodora et al. “Olive oil, the Mediterranean diet, and arterial blood pressure: the Greek European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.” The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. doi:10.1093/ajcn/80.4.1012

  2. Gorzynik-Debicka, Monika et al. “Potential Health Benefits of Olive Oil and Plant Polyphenols.” International Journal of Molecular Sciences. doi:10.3390/ijms19030686

  3. Serreli, Gabriele, and Monica Deiana. “Extra Virgin Olive Oil Polyphenols: Modulation of Cellular Pathways Related to Oxidant Species and Inflammation in Aging.” Cells. Crossref, doi:10.3390/cells9020478

  4. Román, G C et al. “Extra-virgin olive oil for potential prevention of Alzheimer disease.” Revue Neurologique. doi:10.1016/j.neurol.2019.07.017

  5. Markellos, Christos et al. “Olive oil intake and cancer risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis.” PloS One. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0261649

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