- Starbucks is launching its olive oil-infused Oleato line in the U.S. in select locations, starting this week.
- The line, which is the brainchild of former CEO Howard Schultz, debuted in roughly two dozen Italian cafes in February.
- Early reviews of the Oleato drinks in the U.S. press were largely negative.
After launching olive oil-infused coffee in Italy, Starbucks is bringing its Oleato line stateside, starting Thursday.
The upscale Reserve Roasteries and select Reserve cafes in New York, Chicago and Seattle will sell the drinks first, as well as the original Starbucks location in Pike Place Market. Then, on Monday, customers at 550 locations across Seattle and Los Angeles will be able to buy the drinks.
The line launched in roughly two dozen Italian cafes in February. Former CEO Howard Schultz, who stepped down on Monday, went to Italy this summer, where he witnessed Sicilians drinking olive oil as a daily ritual. He, too, began drinking olive oil alongside his daily coffee and decided that Starbucks should try to mix the two together.
Oleato means "with oil" in Italian, according to Starbucks.
The initial Oleato lineup of drinks infuses olive oil into Starbucks' Caffé Latte, Iced Shaken Espresso and cold foam. The Partanna olive oil is steamed with oat milk for the latte, shaken in the iced espresso drink and infused in vanilla sweet cream foam to create the "golden" foam that tops cold brews.
Starbucks hasn't shared any details on how successful the line is in Italy, but early reviews in the U.S. press were largely negative. CNN Business said the olive oil "felt like too much," while the New Yorker said the drink "tasted like a large spoonful of olive oil in coffee."
The coffee giant plans to bring the Oleato drinks to Japan, the Middle East and the United Kingdom later this year.