Starbucks is debuting a new drinks platform called Oleato — infusing Starbucks premium coffee drinks with cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil — coming exclusively (for now) to Starbucks stores in Italy. Outgoing CEO Howard Schultz hinted at the new Oleato beverage category during the company’s earnings call last month, calling it “unlike anything” he has ever experienced.
The Oleato beverages served in cafes will include a caffe latte (made with Starbucks’ blonde espresso infused with Partanna extra virgin olive oil and oat milk), iced shaken espresso (made with espresso and oat milk infused with the Partanna extra virgin olive oil), and Golden Foam cold brew (a cold brew coffee topped with extra virgin olive oil-infused foam).
Meanwhile, at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan, the Oleato platform will include the same latte and golden foam cold brew alongside an iced cortado (made with demerara syrup – similar to brown sugar syrup, orange bitters, oat milk, extra virgin olive oil, and garnished with an orange peel); an Oleato Deconstructed (Starbucks Reserve espresso combined with extra virgin olive oil infused with passionfruit cold foam); and an Oleato Golden Foam espresso martini (made with Starbucks Reserve espresso, vodka, vanilla bean syrup topped with golden foam made from an olive oil and fior di latte fusion.
“Oleato represents the next revolution in coffee that brings together an alchemy of nature’s finest ingredients – Starbucks arabica coffee beans and Partanna cold pressed extra virgin olive oil,” Schultz said in a statement. “Today I feel just as inspired as I did 40 years ago, Oleato has opened our eyes to fresh new possibilities and a transformational way to enjoy our daily coffee.”
Partanna is a brand of Sicilian cold-pressed olive oil that Schultz was introduced to during a trip to Sicily, when he also began partaking in the Italian tradition of imbibing a spoonful of olive oil every morning before coffee. He began to wonder if the two would mingle well together.
“When creating the beverages, we were inspired by the rich history and origin stories of coffee and olive oil – two of nature’s most transcendent ingredients,” said Amy Dilger, principal beverage developer for Starbucks. “Infusing Starbucks coffee with olive oil yielded a velvety smooth, rich texture, with the buttery, round flavors imparted by the olive oil perfectly pairing with the soft, chocolatey notes of the coffee.”
The Starbucks Oleato platform will make its debut in Italy beginning Feb. 22 and will be introduced to select international markets this spring, starting with Southern California. Later, Japan, the Middle East and the U.K. will also be introduced to the olive oil-infused coffee beverages.
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