Starbucks launches coffee drinks with olive oil in Italy

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The world’s largest chain of coffee shops, Starbucks, announces that it is launching a line of drinks with olive oil in Italy.

Executive director Howard Schultz says the “unexpected, velvety, buttery flavor” of the olive oil enhanced the coffee and lingered beautifully on the palate.

Starbucks is one of the largest American companies that has faced obstacles in its attempt to enter the Italian food and beverage market.

The Italian coffee scene is famous for its independent and often family-run cafes.

Starbucks now has about 20 stores in the country.

“Now there will be people who will say: olive oil in coffee? But the proof is in the cup,” — Mr. Schultz said on the company’s website .

“In over 40 years, I can’t remember a time when I was more excited, more excited,” he added.

This spring, the company plans to introduce a range of hot and cold drinks in Southern California stores in the US. The United Kingdom, the Middle East and Japan are set to follow later this year.

The Oleato range, which will launch in Italy on Wednesday, includes an iced espresso coffee and an olive oil latte “steamed with oat milk”.

There will also be a cold-brewed coffee, in which “a silky infusion of Partanna extra virgin olive oil with a sweet and creamy vanilla foam… flows slowly through the drink.”

Olive oil is a key part of the Mediterranean diet associated with countries such as Italy, Greece and Spain.

Its health benefits are partly due to monounsaturated fatty acids, which contain vitamins and minerals, as well as polyphenols, which are micronutrients of plant origin.

The term “drink olive oil” was popular on the video-sharing platform TikTok last year, with proponents claiming it has anti-inflammatory properties.

Some Italians have called for a boycott of Starbucks when the company announced plans to open its first store in the country in 2018.

Then Mr. Schultz said: “We are not going to teach Italians how to make coffee. We come here with humility and respect to show what we have learned.”

Last year, the news that Domino’s Pizza was leaving Italy was noted by some social media users.

The fast-food giant has struggled to win over customers in the home of pizza since launching there in 2015.

During the pandemic, it faced increasingly stiff competition as local restaurants signed up to food delivery platforms such as Deliveroo and Just Eat.

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