A slippery subject


credit: stories.starbucks.com

Walking across campus early in the morning, one’s attention is quickly drawn to the multitude of well-known cups with green logos, signifying Starbucks’ ever-growing popularity amongst students. The drink choices ranges from pink refreshers and light-colored coffee to dark tones and sweet frappucinos. However, one glance at any of the classic coffees will not reveal whether or not it includes Starbucks’ latest addition: extra virgin olive oil. 

Many Mediterranean cultures incorporate olive oil throughout their diets, some even drinking it on a daily basis. Starbucks Interim Chief Executive Officer, Howard Schultz, was exposed to this custom while in Italy, where he began to take a spoonful of olive oil in the morning along with his coffee. It was not long before Schultz tried combining the two and was met with a distinctive texture and flavor, one he was determined to bring to the Starbucks menu.  

“I was absolutely stunned at the unique flavor and texture created when the Partanna extra virgin olive oil was infused into Starbucks coffee. 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,” Schultz said in an article. 

Beyond taking the oil daily as an uplifting ritual and creating smoother coffee, olive oil tends to have extra health benefits. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that are shown to reduce disease processes like heart disease. Olive oil also has high monounsaturated fat percentages that lower cholesterol. Coffee has its own benefits and, when taken black, contains antioxidants that prevent plaque buildup in arteries and is linked to longer lifespans. So, combining the two seems like a health win, but it is not necessary to take the two together, as most of coffee’s perks do not take into account the added creamers. It makes customers wonder the point of the combo. 

“I know that coffee and oil can be good for you, but the two combined sound disgusting. I do not like coffee anyways, but even if I did, I do not think I would want to try this new drink. The two just do not seem like they would mix,” Braxton Ruddock, freshman, said. 

Starting on March 3, Starbucks lovers ran to their nearest stores to get their hands on the new drink, named Oleato as a tribute to the Italian inspiration, with many finding themselves running to the bathroom soon after. A host of fans have reported stomach issues after consuming the drink, but this should not surprise anyone, as caffeine is a stimulant while oil serves as a relaxant.  

“I have not heard about those [Oleatos], but they do sound really good,” Teaghan Hamilton, junior, said. 

Head to the nearest Starbucks to try out the Oleato, and form your own opinion on whether coffee and oil are the perfect pair or are better off on their own, either for your taste’s sake or your stomach’s.