Starbucks is an innovator when it comes to crafting unique and delicious drinks, but Starbucks' latest innovation in coffee, the Oleato line, may be one of the strangest entries yet. After debuting in Italy last month, Starbucks is finally rolling out the new selection of olive oil-infused coffee beverages in the United States starting today.
While the combo might seem strange, former Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz, who just recently departed the company, said that he was struck with the inspiration for the Oleato line while traveling in Sicily. While there, Schultz participated in the Mediterranean custom of consuming a daily spoonful of olive oil, often while he enjoyed his morning coffee. This inspired him to try the two together, and he was delighted by the "unexpected, velvety, buttery flavor that enhanced the coffee and lingers beautifully on the palate."
The Oleato line will kick off its run in the States at the Starbucks Reserve Roasteries in Chicago, Seattle, and New York, according to an announcement from Starbucks. The new Starbucks Reserve Empire State Building store, the original Starbucks store in Seattle's Pike Place Market, and the Starbucks Reserve locations in SoDo Seattle and Greenwich Lane in New York City are also launching the drinks on March 23.
The locations with the March 23 launch are offering a lineup of olive oil-infused caffè lattes, iced cortados, espresso martinis, and cold brews topped with a Golden Foam. Customers planning to visit the Starbucks Reserve Roasteries in Seattle and Chicago can also book an Oleato Tasting Experience "that showcases the alchemy of aroma, flavor, and texture unique to Oleato," according to the Starbucks announcement.
Then on March 27, 75 Starbucks stores in the Seattle area and 475 stores in the Los Angeles area will also add Oleato beverages to their menus. These locations will offer infused caffè lattes, cold brews, and iced shaken espressos. This means that many Americans will finally have the chance to form their own opinions on the new coffees, which have been receiving both positive and mixed reviews.
Even for consumers in the States who haven't gotten the chance to try the Oleato beverages yet, the drinks have already proved divisive. Some Starbucks fans voiced their excitement to try the coffees when Starbucks first announced the Oleato line, but others shied away from the thought of tasting olive oil in their coffee.
Customers in other parts of the country will have to wait for their chance to sample the olive oil coffees for now, since Starbucks has yet to announce when the line will get a wider release. In the meantime, Starbucks fans craving something new can try the Cinnamon Caramel Cream Nitro Cold Brew that debuted earlier this month and received a glowing review in our own taste test.
Fans of Starbucks' raspberry syrup should also make sure to drink their fill of beverages with the popular syrup over the next week, since Starbucks has confirmed it will be discontinued by the end of the month.