Starbucks Introduces Olive Oil-Infused Coffee in Italy

A new line of cold coffee beverages is made with Sicilian extra virgin olive oil.
By Daniel Dawson
Feb. 22, 2023 15:30 UTC

Starbucks has pre­sented a new line of olive oil-infused cof­fee at its loca­tions across Italy. The com­pany plans to intro­duce the bev­er­age in California in the spring and the United Kingdom, Japan and the Middle East later in the year.

Howard Schultz, the com­pa­ny’s interim chief exec­u­tive, said five new hot and cold brewed bev­er­ages would be made with Nocellara del Belice extra vir­gin olive oil sourced from Partanna, Sicily.

I was absolutely stunned at the unique fla­vor and tex­ture cre­ated when the Partanna extra vir­gin olive oil was infused into Starbucks cof­fee.- Howard Schultz, interim CEO, Starbucks

The Brooklyn native said the inspi­ra­tion for the new olive oil cof­fee line came after a trip to Sicily. He was intro­duced to the cus­tom of drink­ing a table­spoon of extra vir­gin olive oil before his morn­ing cof­fee. Soon after, he started mix­ing the olive oil with the cof­fee.

I was absolutely stunned at the unique fla­vor and tex­ture cre­ated when the Partanna extra vir­gin olive oil was infused into Starbucks cof­fee,” Schultz said. In both hot and cold cof­fee bev­er­ages, what it pro­duced was an unex­pected, vel­vety, but­tery fla­vor that enhanced the cof­fee and lingers beau­ti­fully on the palate.”

See Also:How to Mix the Perfect EVOO Cocktails

Amy Dilger, the company’s prin­ci­pal bev­er­age designer, was charged with cre­at­ing the new olive oil-infused drinks.

After research­ing extra vir­gin olive oil, she blended the oil with the company’s blonde espresso roast, which the com­pany describes as hav­ing smooth, well-rounded fla­vors that are deli­cious both hot and iced.”

Italy is Europe’s third-largest cof­fee mar­ket, with an annual per capita con­sump­tion of 5.3 kilo­grams.

However, there has long been plenty of antipa­thy toward Starbucks. In 2018, Starbucks announced plans to open its first store in Milan, the country’s sec­ond-largest city and eco­nomic hub.

In protest, Italians set fire to some of the palm trees in the Piazza del Duomo, an iconic city land­mark where the first store was set to open. Eventually, there was a grad­ual accep­tance of the chain.

The deci­sion to launch an olive oil-based line of cof­fee comes after a flurry of other olive and olive oil bev­er­age infu­sions.

Last March, an entre­pre­neur in Liguria, a region of north­ern Italy, launched an olive oil-infused vodka. Like Schultz, he said adding olive oil gave the vodka a vel­vety tex­ture.

In Spain and Italy, two sep­a­rate com­pa­nies recently intro­duced olive-infused beer.

Producers in Lazio added olive leaves obtained from prun­ing to the tra­di­tional brew­ing process, result­ing in a smoky taste in the beer.

Meanwhile, an award-win­ning Spanish beer uses Empeltre olive extract, which infuses the fla­vors, aro­mas and col­ors of the olives into the beer.

While all three of these prod­ucts have won regional and inter­na­tional acclaim, it remains to be seen how Italy’s cof­fee-enthu­si­as­tic pub­lic takes to the new drinks.


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