How Coffee and Olive Oil Became the New Power Duo

Coffee and olive oil: an unlikely pairing that is taking the coffee world by storm. What began as an obscure Mediterranean custom has now evolved into a viral trend, propelled into the spotlight by Starbucks' Oleato line. If you are a coffee lover looking to shake up your routine, this unique combination might be just what you need.

Origins and Evolution

The practice of adding olive oil to coffee is rooted in Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures, where both ingredients are dietary staples. For centuries, some families in these regions have started their day with a spoonful of olive oil, sometimes paired with their morning coffee. In parts of the Middle East like Lebanon and Palestine, a few drops of olive oil are occasionally added to Turkish coffee, a tradition believed to date back hundreds of years. Fast forward to the 21st century, and this ancient practice gets a modern twist. The concept of olive oil coffee gained traction in the Western world as part of wellness trends like Bulletproof Coffee and the ketogenic diet. But it was Starbucks' launch of the Oleato line in 2022 that truly catapulted the trend into the mainstream. Inspired by his travels in Sicily, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz envisioned a new coffee ritual that would blend the best of Mediterranean and American coffee cultures.

Cultural Appeal

So what is it about this unusual combination that has captured the imagination of coffee drinkers around the world? For many, it is the allure of a new flavor experience. The smooth, velvety mouthfeel and unique taste profile of olive oil coffee offer a departure from the usual cream and sugar routine. Olive oil can also help to mellow out coffee's natural bitterness and acidity, creating a more balanced and nuanced flavor. There is also a cultural cachet associated with olive oil coffee. In Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures, olive oil is prized for its flavor and health properties, and adding it to coffee is seen as a way to elevate the drink. For Western consumers, sipping an Oleato or whipping up an olive oil latte at home can feel like a sophisticated, worldly choice - a small way to inject some Mediterranean flair into your daily grind.

The Science of the Blend

Beyond the sensory appeal, there are also potential health benefits to combining coffee and olive oil. Extra virgin olive oil is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, antioxidants, polyphenols, and vitamin E, all of which can support heart health, reduce inflammation, and promote healthy skin and cognitive function. Some studies suggest that the fats in olive oil can also help to slow the absorption of caffeine, leading to more sustained energy levels without the jitters or crashes. Coffee, too, is a potent source of antioxidants and has been linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes, Parkinson's disease, liver disease, and certain cancers. The combination of coffee and olive oil's antioxidants may have synergistic effects, though more research is needed to fully understand the potential health impact. From a preparation standpoint, the key to a great olive oil coffee is emulsification. By blending the oil into the coffee at high speed, you create a stable mixture with a creamy texture and a frothy cap. This also helps to distribute the oil evenly throughout the drink, preventing it from pooling on the surface.

Choosing Your Ingredients

To make the best olive oil coffee at home, it all starts with quality ingredients. For the coffee, opt for freshly ground beans from a reputable source. A medium or dark roast will stand up well to the bold flavor of olive oil, but feel free to experiment with your favorite varieties. When it comes to olive oil, extra virgin is the way to go. Look for a high-quality oil with a harvest date on the label, and opt for a mild, buttery variety rather than a peppery or pungent one. The flavor of the oil should complement the coffee without overpowering it.

Some other tips for choosing your olive oil:

  • Select an oil with a grassy, fruity aroma and golden-green hue
  • Avoid oils that smell rancid or musty, or have a dull, brownish color
  • If possible, taste the oil before using it in your coffee - it should have a clean, pleasant flavor without any off notes
  • Store your oil in a cool, dark place to maintain its quality and flavor

Preparing the Perfect Cup

Once you have your ingredients, making olive oil coffee is a simple process. Here's a basic recipe to get you started:


  • 8 ounces freshly brewed coffee
  • 1-2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Sweetener of choice (optional)


  1. Brew your coffee using your preferred method (French press, pour-over, espresso machine, etc.).
  2. Pour the hot coffee into a blender or large mug.
  3. Add 1-2 teaspoons of olive oil (start with less and adjust to taste).
  4. If using a blender, blend on high for 30 seconds until the mixture is frothy and emulsified. If using a mug, use a milk frother or immersion blender to combine the ingredients until creamy.
  5. Pour into a mug, add sweetener if desired, and enjoy!

Feel free to adjust the ratios of coffee and olive oil to suit your preferences. You can also experiment with adding other flavors like cinnamon, cocoa powder, or vanilla extract to customize your drink.

Some other serving ideas:

  • Pour olive oil coffee over ice for a refreshing summer beverage
  • op with a dollop of frothed milk or milk alternative for a latte-style drink
  • Blend with a scoop of collagen peptides or MCT oil powder for an extra boost of nutrition
  • Serve alongside a Mediterranean-inspired breakfast like avocado toast or a veggie frittata

Not for Everyone

While olive oil coffee has legions of ardent fans, it is certainly an acquired taste. Some find the mouthfeel too oily or the flavor too savory for their morning cup. Others with sensitive stomachs may experience discomfort from the added fat, particularly if consumed on an empty stomach.

If straight-up olive oil in your coffee is not appealing, there are other ways to incorporate healthy fats into your morning routine. Bulletproof Coffee, made with grass-fed butter and MCT oil, offers similar benefits with a richer, creamier texture. Coconut oil, ghee, and cacao butter are other popular add-ins in the wellness coffee scene.

Ultimately, the key is to listen to your body and find what works for you. If olive oil coffee makes you feel energized, satiated and focused, then by all means, pour and enjoy. But if it causes digestive distress or simply does not appeal to your taste buds, there is no shame in sticking with your tried-and-true brew.

The Verdict

Coffee and olive oil represent a fascinating fusion of ancient tradition and modern wellness. Whether you are drawn to the unique flavor profile, the potential health benefits, or the cultural cachet, there are plenty of reasons to give this power duo a try. As with any new food or drink, moderation is key. A teaspoon or two of olive oil in your daily cup is likely harmless (and potentially beneficial) for most people, but chugging olive oil by the glassful is not advisable. And of course, no single ingredient is a magic bullet for health - a balanced diet, regular exercise, and good sleep are still the cornerstones of wellness.

At the end of the day, your coffee routine is a personal ritual - one that should bring you comfort, pleasure, and a sense of ceremony. If olive oil coffee enhances that experience for you, then raise a mug and savor the Mediterranean vibes. And if not? There are plenty of other ways to upgrade your cup, from experimenting with different brew methods to sourcing ethical, single-origin beans. The beauty of coffee culture is its endless diversity and room for experimentation. Whether you are a purist or an adventurous trend-seeker, there is a perfect cup out there waiting for you. So go forth, explore, and find your power duo - be it coffee and olive oil, coffee and coconut milk, or just coffee and a quiet moment of morning bliss. Your taste buds (and maybe your heart health) will thank you.


Frequently Asked Questions

What does putting olive oil in your coffee do?

Adding olive oil to your coffee can modify the flavor and texture of the drink, making it smoother and less acidic. Some people find that the healthy fats in olive oil can help promote satiety and provide a more sustained energy boost compared to coffee alone. Olive oil is also rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which may offer some health benefits when consumed regularly. However, it's important to note that the research on the specific effects of olive oil in coffee is limited, and individual responses may vary. Some people may find that the added fat causes digestive discomfort, particularly if consumed on an empty stomach.

Why did Starbucks put olive oil in their coffee?

In early 2023, Starbucks launched a new line of olive oil-infused beverages called Oleato. The idea for the line came from former CEO Howard Schultz, who was inspired by his travels in Sicily and the Mediterranean tradition of consuming a spoonful of olive oil each day for health and longevity. By adding olive oil to some of its signature drinks, Starbucks aims to offer customers a new, unique flavor experience that also taps into the wellness trend of incorporating healthy fats into the diet. The Oleato line is part of Starbucks' broader strategy to innovate its menu and attract health-conscious consumers.

Is olive oil in coffee good for constipation?

While some people claim that adding olive oil to coffee can help with constipation, there is no scientific evidence to support this specific benefit. Olive oil does contain some compounds that can act as mild laxatives, such as monounsaturated fats and polyphenols, which may help to stimulate bowel movements in some individuals. However, coffee itself is often touted as a natural remedy for constipation due to its stimulant effect on the digestive system. The caffeine in coffee can help to promote peristalsis, the contractions of the intestines that move food through the digestive tract.

If you are struggling with constipation, it's best to consult with a healthcare professional for personalized advice. They may recommend lifestyle changes such as increasing your fiber and water intake, exercising regularly, and managing stress, in addition to any targeted treatments.

Why do Italians put olive oil in coffee?

Contrary to popular belief, adding olive oil to coffee is not a widespread Italian tradition. While some individuals or families in Italy may practice this custom, it is not a typical or defining feature of Italian coffee culture. The idea of adding olive oil to coffee likely originated from the broader Mediterranean and Middle Eastern tradition of consuming a spoonful of olive oil in the morning for health benefits. This practice may have been adopted by some Italian families, particularly in regions where olive oil production is prominent, but it is not a national norm. Italian coffee culture is more renowned for its emphasis on high-quality, expertly prepared espresso drinks, often consumed quickly while standing at a bar. The classic Italian caffè (espresso) is usually served neat, without any additions or toppings.





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