If there is something more Italian than a well brewed coffee, it must be olive oil. Nonetheless, these two have not ever hung out together (at least officially) until this week when Starbucks announced that they have a new line of drinks containing one spoonful of olive oil. The line is called Oleato and the launch is exclusive to Italy, but the plan is that it will soon be served across the whole world.
The announcement has brought many mixed reactions and low approvals among Italians. It is understood that it is more of a business move than anything else. According to CNN, Starbucks approached Tommaso Asaro, chairman of United Olive Oil, and pitched the idea to start this olive oil based line of drinks. The idea first came from the health fad going around suggesting that one tablespoon of olive oil per day is good for you. There is some truth to this, as olive oil has proven to be one of the healthiest sources of fat nature provides. Why add oils to coffee? Does it make a difference to our health? Is the flavor worthwhile?
It is understood that there are health benefits to cutting the acidity of coffee with oils. It is this concept what has made the Bulletproof coffee popular among health enthusiasts. Bulletproof coffee has been around for a while and the concept is not much different from what Starbucks is suggesting. The simple recipe consists of freshly brewed black coffee with some butter and coconut oil. Personally, that makes a lot of more sense as butter contains dairy and is not too different from simply adding cream, and coconut oil is sweet. The pairing obeys the laws of good cuisine: the balance between sweet and bold, undertones and strong flavors, to name a few.
Oleato is more of a reminder than Starbucks is not an industry leader for good coffee or quality cuisine, but a marketing giant. Afterall, we are talking about it, aren’t we?
Some of us believe that Starbucks drinks are full of artificial flavors and low quality beans, so as strong as the taste of olive oil is, you may still not taste it. If we were tasting pure quality beans and 100% extra virgin olive oil, we could easily recreate this flavor at home and I think we all have somewhat of an idea of what the Oleato line tastes like.