The Starbucks Oleato Is Finally Available in the U.S.—and We Tried It

You can now officially find out if this buzzy blend of coffee and olive oil is worth becoming your new go-to order.

The wait is over. After launching exclusively in Italy in February, the new Starbucks Oleato drink line is now available to order at Reserve Roasteries in Chicago, Seattle, and New York and at select cafs in Seattle and Los Angeles. The concept for the beverages is unlike anything the coffee giant has ever come out with before—and the taste is, too. I was able to try one of the drinks, and I have a few thoughts.

Starbucks Oleato drink line at Reserve

Starbucks | Design: Better Homes & Gardens

The Oleato line features three different versions you can get at your standard, local café: a Caffé Latte, a Shaken Espresso, and a Golden Foam Cold Brew. If you’re in a city with a Reserve, they’re also offering an Iced Cortado and a Golden Foam Espresso Martini. The original, standout ingredient they all share? Sicilian extra virgin olive oil. The idea came to then-interim CEO Howard Schultz when he was traveling through Italy and discovered the Mediterranean custom of taking a spoonful of olive oil with your daily cup of coffee. In hot and cold beverages, he claims it produces an “unexpected, velvety, buttery flavor,” and now olive oil is infused in all of the new drinks. 

Employee handing off Starbucks Oleato cold brew


Oleato Taste Test

For a chain known for Frappuccinos, flavored lattes, and Pink Drinks, the Oleato is quite a deviation from their standard. I decided to try the Golden Foam Cold Brew, which includes olive oil-infused cold foam and vanilla syrup that cascades through dark cold brew, which gives it a hint of sweetness that balances out the bitterness. 

Personally, I go to Starbucks for coffee that’s reliable, flavorful, and not so serious—and it feels like the Oleato takes itself a little too seriously. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the drink: It was definitely fun to try something so different from my usual, and I do appreciate the innovation and elevated, European sense of it. But the olive oil was intense—it seemed less like it was “infused” and more like a quarter cup was mixed in. I think the two flavors do complement each other nicely, and it creates a smooth texture, but it was a little too much for me. However, it could just be how it is when you first start drinking coffee in general—it might just take some getting used to.

I don’t know if the Oleato will become one of my regular orders, but I definitely want to taste test the other two drinks (the Caffé Latte and Shaken Espresso) before making an official verdict. If you want to get an idea of what to expect before spending over $6, add a healthy drizzle of olive oil into your coffee or use a milk frother to infuse it into your creamer or milk at home. If you’re in a city where you can try any of the new beverages, I’d say it’s worth it to grab one—even if it’s just to make you feel like you’re in Italy for a few moments.

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