Looking to give pumpkin spice lattes a run for their money is Starbucks’ recently launched line of olive oil-infused coffees, which the brand has said is inspired by Italian coffee culture. From a nutritional perspective, these two ingredients bring a bounty of health benefits to your daily breakfast routine thanks to the extra boost of heart-healthy fats and antioxidants. However, how does this inflammation-fighting coffee concoction stack up in terms of flavor?
To give it a whirl, I decided to test making olive oil-infused coffee at home, and based on my findings, I’ll say it hits the mark on every level, from flavor and mouthfeel to some surprising digestive perks. I also caught up with Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD, CLEC, CPT, a registered dietitian based in Charleston, who shared her insights on why this pairing is basically a match made in caffeine heaven—and why it’s more than just a new buzzy (ahem) flavor drop from the coffee shop behemoth.
An RD on the health benefits of adding olive oil to coffee
“I personally love it,” Manaker says. “Many of us are not consuming enough of the good fat that olive oil provides, and this is an easy way to sneak them into our daily routines.”
“I personally love it. Many of us are not consuming enough of the good fat that olive oil provides, and this is an easy way to sneak them into our daily routines…Olive oil provides antioxidants, and consistent consumption is linked to a slew of health benefits.” —Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, LD
It’s no secret that olive oil is packed with tons of impressive health benefits. After all, folks in longevity hot spots (like Ikaria, Greece and Sardinia, Italy) consume it regularly—as they do with coffee. “Olive oil provides antioxidants, and consistent consumption is linked to a slew of health benefits, from bone health support to heart health support and more,” Manaker says. What’s more, olive oil is high in heart-healthy omega-3s and unsaturated fats, which can help reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke. It’s also very high in antioxidants.
I tried making olive oil-infused coffee at home
Considering I can’t get my hands on an olive oil-infused Starbucks drink stateside until spring—when it officially launches in the United States—developing a DIY version of this newly-released drink is the only way I could get my hands on it. Challenge accepted.
First, I brewed a cup of medium-roast Nespresso coffee and let it come to room temperature. To replicate Starbucks’ new Oleato Golden Foam Cold Brew, which is made with sweet milk foam infused with two olive oil servings, I used my favorite Nutpods’ french vanilla creamer (about four tablespoons worth), to which I added about two teaspoons of Graza Drizzle’s extra-virgin olive oil.
Then the real magic: Blending the two ingredients until creamy and perfectly homogenous using my favorite hand-held foam maker (available on Amazon for $12). Lastly, I added the coffee to a glass filled with ice, layered it with a generous amount of the “golden foam,” and garnished it with a sprinkle of cinnamon.
The result was a virtually undetectable hint of olive oil paired with a luxurious mouthfeel thanks to the “healthy” fats in the EVOO. In the past, when using non-dairy creamers, I’ve found that some of them might lack the richness of most dairy-filled counterparts. However, the addition of olive oil is the perfect way to mimic that lush and smooth consistency in a way that’s 100 percent plant-based.
The addition of olive oil is the perfect way to mimic that lush and smooth consistency in a way that’s 100 percent plant-based.
When testing this recipe, I found that the most critical part was ensuring that the olive oil I used was high quality, which Manaker agrees is a top priority. “It’s important to understand that not all olive oils are created equally. I recommend leaning on an olive oil that has the harvest date printed on the label to know just how old the oil you are using is. Since this coffee recipe doesn’t call for heating, I would recommend a high-quality finishing oil, like Graza Drizzle, which has a bold flavor and is packed with antioxidants,” Manaker says.
Although this coffee recipe is a fun way to integrate more healthy fats into your daily diet, it’s worth noting that one serving won’t necessarily be enough to reap the benefits. “Some data suggests that taking in as much as four tablespoons of olive oil every day is required to see certain benefits—or even more,” Manaker says. But, if it’s not for the health benefits, the taste and, more importantly, the textures of this drink alone will be well worth it.
How to make iced olive oil-infused coffee
Step one: Prepare iced coffee. Set aside.
Step two: In a separate cup, make the “golden foam” by combining 4 Tbsp of creamer and 2 Tsp of olive oil.
Step three: Blend the foam until fully combined and creamy.
Step four: Top the iced coffee with olive oil-infused foam.
Step five: Garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon, and enjoy!
An RD shares the benefits of consuming coffee:
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