Starbucks recently launched its new coffee recipe, which includes olive oil as the main focus.
“Starbucks Oleato” first came out in February in Italy and is now available in select cities, such as Los Angeles and Seattle. They have also introduced it to their Starbucks Reserve Roasteries in Chicago, Seattle and New York.
With the city of Azusa being part of the few selected to have this new product, I decided to try it out. To help with the new launch, the Starbucks on Citrus and Alosta decorated their store with a green balloon arch and is offering samples of the drinks on select dates. Times and dates vary, so check the store in person for more details.
First, I decided to try the Oleato Iced Shaken Espresso. My first impression of the display was that you could definitely see the olive oil on the rim and the top of the coffee. Because of this, it looked a bit unappetizing. As much as I use olive oil in my everyday cooking, the thought of drinking it turned my stomach.
I took a sip and the way it looks is the way it tastes: like olive oil. It wasn’t terrible, but it did have an oil-like texture with a hint of coffee. My hope was that the oat milk and toffee nut syrup would pair nicely with it, but I was wrong. I then tried mixing it, and while the film went away for a second, it came back to the top. The olive oil just could not mix with the espresso. Overall, the drink wasn’t terrible, but I would not order it again.
The next drink was the Oleato Caffe Latte. I ordered it hot as it was recommended that way and decided to give it a fair chance. This one did not look terrible and it definitely helps that the cup was not see-through.
This drink was slightly better, but it had to be enjoyed hot. The heat helped the oil mix to the point where it wasn’t the only flavor you tasted. While it was not the best coffee I’ve had, it did mix a bit better, tasting like your average latte with a hint of olive oil. I prefer my lattes to have a flavored syrup such as vanilla or even caramel, but I could see how adding syrup would overpower the olive oil and make it worse. You might enjoy this drink if you like simple-flavored coffee.
Lastly, I tried the Oleato Golden Foam Cold Brew. I was most excited to try this drink as Starbucks’s seasonal cold brews have always been a hit for me. Unfortunately, this was a miss. The cold foam just tasted wrong. Olive oil and cold foam, in my opinion, do not mix. It tasted creamy and oily. I then mixed my foam with the cold brew to see if that would help, but it did not. I think out of all three, this drink was my least favorite. It was just cold brew and olive oil. In other words, a terrible combination.
Overall, I appreciate Starbucks for trying to create new drink options, but I think they missed the mark on this one. While each drink was under 400 calories, the price range of $6.45–$6.75 for a grande doesn’t help its case. If I’m going to be paying about $7 for a drink, it needs to taste good. I would rather have Starbucks bring back its old refreshers for the spring season, such as the Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher and Iced Guava Passion Fruit drink.