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HomeCoffee ArticlesStarbucks Oleato: oily-ought-to or ought-not?

Starbucks Oleato: oily-ought-to or ought-not?

The Strange Fusion of Olive Oil and Coffee

As a seasoned coffee person with over two decades of involvement in the vast and diverse world of coffee, I’ve explored many different aspects of this wild and weird coffee world – from bean fermentation to brewing methods, and old traditional recipes to barista competition drinks. Coffee, this enigmatic drink of the many, is ceaselessly versatile. The latest trend emerging in this realm is an unexpected combination: coffee infused with olive oil, aka the Oleato. As intriguing as it sounds, let’s break down this eyebrow raising pairing, separating fact from oily fat, and exploring its pros and cons.

Coffee and olive oil – two seemingly incongruous partners that have separately gained recognition for their health benefits and distinctive taste profiles. Olive oil, the cornerstone of the Mediterranean diet, is highly regarded for its heart-friendly properties, thanks to its abundance of monounsaturated fats. On the other hand, coffee, one of the world’s favorite morning pick-me-ups, offers a symphony of flavors, aromas, and its own roster of health perks.

Before we delve into the specifics, it is important to understand that my exploration here is not an endorsement. Every persons taste is different, and while some may relish the richness and depth that olive oil introduces, others might find it incomprehensible with the flavors of their coffee. Let’s commence our Oleato journey to understanding this unorthodox blending.

The Benefits

There are several potential advantages to infusing your coffee with a dollop of olive oil. Let’s get into these:

Healthy Fats: Olive oil is known for its high content of monounsaturated fats. These heart-healthy fats help in lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL), often referred to as ‘bad’ cholesterol, thereby promoting cardiovascular health. Moreover, these fats provide a slow-burning energy source, making your morning coffee an even more effective kick-starter.

Antioxidant Rich: Olive oil, particularly extra virgin olive oil, is rich in phenolic compounds – potent antioxidants that protect the body from oxidative damage by neutralizing harmful free radicals. Incorporating this into your coffee could potentially amp up your daily antioxidant intake.

Satiety: The fats present in olive oil promote feelings of satiety. When coupled with coffee, which is a natural appetite suppressant, you get a beverage that could potentially reduce cravings and assist in weight management.

Flavor Enhancement: Coffee has a broad spectrum of flavor profiles, from fruity and floral to earthy and nutty. High-quality olive oil, with its own complex tasting notes ranging from grassy to peppery, could introduce an intriguing layer to your coffee’s flavor.

The Drawbacks

Though the Oleato concept is novel and the benefits enticing, the practice of adding olive oil to coffee does not come without potential drawbacks.

Taste Alteration: Olive oil has a bold, distinctive flavor profile. It might overpower the nuanced flavors of coffee, especially when paired with specialty single-origin brews known for their delicate and distinctive notes.

Caloric Content: Despite its health benefits, olive oil is calorically dense – approximately 120 calories per tablespoon. For those watching their caloric intake, frequent olive oil-infused coffees could tip the scale unfavorably.

Texture: The amalgamation of oil and water-based drinks often results in separation, leading to an unusual mouthfeel. Some coffee drinkers might find this disconcerting.

Digestive Issues: Consuming repetitive large amounts of olive oil, particularly on an empty stomach, might lead to digestive discomfort, including diarrhea. Plus, coffee already stimulates your digestive system, so *BEWARE*.

While daily consumption of olive oil-infused coffee could potentially offer some health benefits, it’s important to consider potential drawbacks as well. The practice of adding olive oil to your daily coffee could gradually alter your palate, making the nuanced, natural flavors of unadulterated coffee less appealing over time, potentially making your palate unaccustomed to drinking regular coffee, and now you have to drag around a bottle of olive oil everywhere. As with any significant dietary modification, it’s always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional before incorporating it into your daily routine.


As we traverse this new landscape of coffee culture, the infusion of olive oil in coffee represents another adventurous stop. This audacious blend encapsulates the spirit of innovation inherent in the coffee community. Whether this trend is here to stay or it’s a fleeting fascination remains to be seen.

If the prospect of trying these new Oleato drinks intrigues you, I encourage you to embark on this experiment with an open mind, and a pre-planned route to a restroom. Moderation, as in all things, is key. Remember, the best feature of coffee lies in its flexibility and the freedom it offers for personalizations (like our mugs!).


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