Starbucks-goers in 11 states will now have the chance to taste the polarizing Oleato coffee, which is made with extra virgin olive oil. The company expanded Oleato's reach on Tuesday and it will now be available in major cities including Austin, Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Miami.
Stores in Alaska, Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Texas and Vermont have also been added to the list after the drink debuted domestically in New York, Illinois, California and Washington state in March. The company first rolled Oleato out in Italy, where it originated.
Starbucks offers several drinks – including a latte, a shaken espresso and an iced cortado – made with arabica coffee and Partanna cold pressed, extra virgin olive oil – and customers can also buy the olive oil separately.
Former CEO Howard Schultz said he first discovered Oleato on a trip to Milan in 1983 and was inspired to bring the drink to Starbucks.
The drink quickly became a polarizing addition to the Starbucks menu. Some people tweeted negative reviews, saying the drink hurt their stomachs. "Whoever said Oleato is the next big thing at Starbs need to head back to the lab," one person tweeted.
"Thought I'd try the new Starbucks Oleato (olive oil in coffee) for the first time. This will also be the last time," another wrote.
Another said the drink was good. "It's surprisingly not disgusting…" one person tweeted.
"Dare I say, it's my favorite shaken mixed drink there. Not sweet, the olive oil gave a kind of caramelised note," another more enthusiastic review on Twitter reads.
A food reviewer for Bon Appetit wrote a less-than-stunning review of several of the Oleato drinks, but did say the caffe latte "ended up being my favorite of the three, and the only one that I actively wanted to drink more of."
There is about a spoonful of olive oil infused in the coffee. One tablespoon of olive oil has about 120 calories and 14 grams of fat. A tall Oleato caffe latte made with oat milk has 270 calories and 21 grams of fat.
Olive oil does likely have health benefits, and a 2020 study found consuming more than half a tablespoon of olive oil a day may lower heart disease risk. Another study found it can also lower rates of premature death from cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer's disease and other causes.
So, the combination of olive oil and coffee may be a win, Dr. Steven Gundry, a physician, medical researcher and author who advocates for daily olive oil consumption,
"It's just a brilliant idea combining two of the best polyphenol-containing compounds on earth together," he said, explaining polyphenol is a plant compound that has health-boosting benefits for your heart, brain and longevity.
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