Olive Oil in Coffee, Just a Trend or Is It Here to Stay?

Let’s take a look at how olive oil in your coffee may contribute to improving your overall wellness!.

7 min read


Olive Oil in Coffee, Just a Trend or Is It Here to Stay?

Olive oil and coffee: both well-loved by many, and each with their own unique health benefits, but probably not two things you would think to pair together. Nevertheless, Starbucks has done just that and has made the unlikely duo a match in their new olive oil infused coffee drinks. Dubbed the Oleato, this trendy new drink is creating quite the buzz (pun intended) not only for its novelty and unexpected flavor but also for all of its potential favorable health effects.

Olive oil has long been a staple of the Mediterranean diet, which researchers attribute to the long lifespan of the residents in this region.(1) Adding a tablespoon to your daily cup of Joe can be an easy way to incorporate this superfood into your diet and optimize your health through the various benefits that both coffee and olive oil provide. Let’s take a look at how olive oil in your coffee may contribute to improving your overall wellness!


How Olive Oil in Coffee May Boost Your Nutrition and Overall Health

Rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, unsaturated fats, and omega-3s, olive oil was christened by the ancient Greeks as “the elixir of youth and health.”(2,3,4) And not without good reason! Regular consumption of olive oil has been proven to provide the following protective health effects:

  • Protects against chronic diseases: Scientists have observed a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease (heart disease and stroke), Alzheimer’s, cancer, and type II diabetes in individuals who regularly consume olive oil.(1,2,4,5)
  • Improves brain health: Daily consumption of extra-virgin olive oil was observed to enhance cognitive function and memory in subjects with mild cognitive impairments and early Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers credited this to improved blood-brain barrier function and decreased brain atrophy.(3)
  • Improves cholesterol levels: Chock-full of monounsaturated fats, olive oil is known for lowering LDL (bad) cholesterol and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.(2)
  • Protects against oxidative damage and improves immune function: With 20% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin E in just one tablespoon, olive oil protects your cells against oxidative damage and improves immune function.(4)

In recent years, studies on coffee have been published touting its numerous health benefits, but this wasn’t always so. Due to previous mischaracterizations, many people still think coffee is bad for your health. However, as Harvard professor of nutrition and epidemiology, Dr. Walter C. Willett, tells the New York Times, “Despite various health concerns that have cropped up over the years, coffee is remarkably safe and has a number of potential benefits.”(6) Similar to olive oil, coffee is packed with antioxidants and polyphenols, providing various protective health effects, to the delight of habitual coffee drinkers. Here we explore some of the top benefits:

  • Boosts energy levels: This is the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of coffee, and the number one reason coffee lovers subscribe to their daily brew. The caffeine content of coffee enhances energy levels and therefore mental performance and vigilance.(7)
  • Linked to lower risk of type 2 diabetes: Consumption of 1-5 cups of coffee per day may prompt your body to process glucose more efficiently, and therefore reduce blood glucose levels.(8)
  • Supports brain and neurological health: Ingesting 1-5 cups of coffee per day is correlated with decreased risk of Parkinson’s Disease and Alzheimer’s.(9)
  • Supports heart health: Drinking 3-5 cups per day is associated with a 15% lower risk of cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease, stroke, and heart failure.(10)
  • Increases Longevity: Both caffeinated and decaffeinated coffee have been linked to decreased risk of all-cause mortality.(11) Even if you get the jitters from fully caffeinated coffee, you can still enjoy the health benefits of coffee if you choose to drink decaf.

So, is olive oil in coffee here to stay? The health benefits are clear, but does the flavor hold up? We put this combination to the test in the Sunny kitchen and the results are in. Here’s how you can make an at-home Oleato of your own, and what our crew thought of the drink’s interesting flavors:


Recipe Details:

Try the Oleato for yourself, without breaking the bank! Chances are you probably already have all of these ingredients in your pantry.

You will need:

  • Coffee, brewed to your liking
  • 4 tablespoons of Milk or coffee creamer of your choice
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • Sweetener of your choice, if using

Step 1: Brew your coffee with your preferred method. I used a French press, but filtered coffee or espresso works just as well! Pour into your favorite mug until it is halfway full.

Step 2: Combine one tablespoon of olive oil with 4 tablespoons of milk. I used coconut milk, but any milk, alternative milk, or coffee creamer will work. Sweeten to your liking.

*This step works best if you use a hand-held milk frother and whisk for about 1 minute. Olive oil likes to separate from other liquids, so the milk frother helps to really incorporate the olive oil in the milk.

Step 3: Pour your olive oil and milk mixture over the top of your coffee. Enjoy!


Final Thoughts on Olive Oil in Coffee

The Starbucks trend of adding olive oil to coffee seems like a fad, but its abundant health benefits may make this odd combination worth a try. Although the flavor isn’t for everyone, if you are looking to improve heart and brain health, protect yourself from chronic diseases, and boost longevity, olive oil in coffee can be a simple way to give yourself a leg up. Give it a try and let us know what you think!


1. Effects of Mediterranean diet enriched in high quality extra virgin olive oil on oxidative stress, inflammation and gut microbiota in obese and normal weight adult subjects, Frontiers in Pharmacology, 2019. Effect of Mediterranean Diet Enriched in High Quality Extra Virgin Olive Oil on Oxidative Stress, Inflammation and Gut Microbiota in Obese and Normal Weight Adult Subjects - PMC (nih.gov) Accessed 5 April 2023.
2. The benefits of adding a drizzle of olive oil to your diet, American Heart Association News, 2022. The benefits of adding a drizzle of olive oil to your diet | American Heart Association Accessed 5 April 2023.
3. Extra-virgin olive oil enhances the blood-brain barrier function in mild cognitive impairment: A randomized controlled trial, Nutrients, 2022. Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Enhances the Blood-Brain Barrier Function in Mild Cognitive Impairment: A Randomized Controlled Trial - PubMed (nih.gov) Accessed 12 April 2023.
4. The top 8 health benefits of olive oil and how it compares to other oils, Mindbodygreen, 2023. 8 Science-Backed Benefits of Olive Oil + How To Find A High-Quality Option | mindbodygreen Accessed 7 April 2023.
5. Olive oil in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies and intervention trials, Nutrition & Diabetes, 2017. Olive oil in the prevention and management of type 2 diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis of cohort studies and intervention trials - PMC (nih.gov)Accessed 7 April 2023.
6. The health benefits of coffee, The New York Times, 2021. The Health Benefits of Coffee - The New York Times (nytimes.com) Accessed 7 April 2023.
7. Coffee, caffeine, and health, The New England Journal of Medicine, 2020. Coffee, Caffeine, and Health (nejm.org) Accessed 13 April 2023.
8. This should perk you up: the surprising health benefits of coffee, Cleveland Clinic, 2023. Health Benefits of Coffee – Cleveland Clinic Accessed 13 April 2023.
9. Potential health benefits of olive oil and plant polyphenols, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 2018. Potential Health Benefits of Olive Oil and Plant Polyphenols - PMC (nih.gov) Accessed 12 April 2023.
10. Coffee, The Nutrition Source, 2020. Coffee | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Accessed 13 April 2023.
11. Association of coffee consumption with total and cause-specific mortality in 3 large prospective cohorts, Circulation, 2015. Association of Coffee Consumption With Total and Cause-Specific Mortality in 3 Large Prospective Cohorts | Circulation (ahajournals.org) Accessed 13 April 2023.


Olive Oil in Coffee Infographic

Olive Oil in Coffee Infographic


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