Starbucks launches olive oil-infused coffee series in Dubai

The two new beverages will be available in select stores from Saturday

Starbucks is introducing two new products to Dubai stores from Saturday. Photo: Starbucks
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Starbucks in Dubai will start selling its new coffee series infused with Partanna extra virgin olive oil from Saturday.

The American coffee chain launched the Oleato series in Italy in February, inspired by the Mediterranean custom of taking a spoonful of olive oil each day.

The company's then chief executive Howard Schultz tried adding the oil to his morning coffee, and eventually developed the idea to create new Starbucks beverages.

“I was absolutely stunned at the unique flavour and texture created when the Partanna extra virgin olive oil was infused into Starbucks coffee,” he said in a blog on the company's website.

Five Oleato products were launched at the Milan roastery, but only a combination of them are available in other markets where the series was later introduced: the US, UK and Japan.

In Dubai, two Oleato products will be sold in 30 stores across the emirate. One is a cold brew with extra virgin olive oil-infused cold foam – the other is an iced, shaken espresso with olive oil-infused oat milk. The National has reached out to determine whether the drinks will be available in other parts of the UAE.

“We are always looking for new ways to innovate and bring new, exciting flavours to our customers,” says Michelle Chin, vice president of marketing, product, digital and sustainability at Starbucks EMEA.

The two drinks are already available in select stores in Riyadh, and will also make their way to Starbucks in Kuwait from Sunday.

“In both hot and cold coffee beverages, what it produced was an unexpected, velvety, buttery flavour that enhanced the coffee and lingers beautifully on the palate,” says Schultz.

When he brought the idea to the headquarters in Seattle, Amy Dilger, the company's beverage developer, immediately started learning about olives and their connection to Italian culture.

The olives used in Starbucks products are a variant called Nocellara del Belice or Castelvetrano, which are known for vibrant and buttery notes.

“One thing that’s special about the Castelvetrano olives is that they are sweet and really buttery,” says Dilger.

“I think of all the buttery caramels that we mix with our coffee. That buttery smooth richness combines so well with our coffee.”

Updated: May 29, 2023, 1:03 PM