Mar 22, 2023 - Food and Drink

Starbucks' olive oil coffee drinks are now on sale in Seattle

A row of different kinds of coffee drinks on a wooden bar or table.

Starbucks Oleato line of beverages. Photo: Courtesy of Starbucks

Starbucks' new olive-oil-infused coffee drinks are now available in Seattle.

What's happening: Starting Thursday, customers can get Starbucks "Oleato" drinks at three Seattle locations: the Reserve Roastery on Capitol Hill, the Starbucks Reserve location in SODO, and the Starbucks in Pike Place Market (you know, the "original" location that isn't quite the original).

Beginning Monday, the drinks will be available at dozens of other Starbucks locations in the Seattle area, as well as in Los Angeles.

  • Starbucks also is serving Oleato drinks starting Thursday at Reserve locations in Chicago and New York.

👋 Melissa here. After the Seattle-based coffee giant debuted the olive-oil-laced beverage line in Italy last month, I was not shy in expressing my disgust.

  • I tried my own experiment at home and confirmed my gut feeling that the flavors of espresso and olive oil just don't mix.

Yes, but: The Starbucks people invited me over to taste the real thing this week, and I agreed to give it a shot.

The verdict: Let's start with the positive: the Starbucks folks have smartly used a mild-flavored olive oil for their Oleato drinks, which helps make the antipasto vibes less overwhelming.

  • For me, however, the savory aftertaste remains a problem. Even with various sweet syrups and flavored creams added to the drinks, that vegetal flavor lingers — and I don't think in a good way.
  • The olive oil aftershock was particularly pronounced in two of the iced coffee drinks I tried: the Oleato Iced Shaken Espresso and the Oleato Golden Foam Cold Brew.
  • The olive oil blended the best in the Oleato Caffè Latte, served warm, and the Oleato Iced Cortado, which contained orange bitters and a citrus flavor that helped balance the flavors. So if you're curious but ambivalent, I'd say start with those.

Of note: The Oleato Iced Cortado is locally available only at the Reserve Roastery on Capitol Hill and the Starbucks Reserve location in SODO. Same for the Oleato Golden Foam Espresso Martini, which contains vodka.

The bottom line: The point of adding olive oil to coffee still eludes me. But now you can decide for yourself.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that the Starbucks Oleato drinks were made available at Reserve locations in Seattle, New York and Chicago on Thursday, not Wednesday.


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