A Starbucks logo is pictured on the door of the Green Apron Delivery Service at the Empire State Building in New York


  • The new line's name, "Oleato," means "with oil" in Italian
  • A spoonful of extra virgin olive oil is in the coffee drinks
  • The new line will come to the U.S. in spring, according to Starbucks

Starbucks is launching a new line of coffee drinks infused with olive oil in Italy on Wednesday. Its new Oleato espresso martini will also hit select locations in New York soon.

The new line's name, "Oleato," means "with oil" in Italian, and each drink will have a spoonful of extra virgin olive oil, adding more calories to its consumers' daily coffee.

"This is a transformational moment in the history of our company creating a new category, a new platform," Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz told CNBC, adding that he came up with the oily idea after an inspirational trip to Sicily.

Schultz said Oleato would be a "market-maker" as the industry feels the squeeze of tightening consumer demand.

The initial launch of the line will include the Oleato latte with oat milk and olive oil, an Oleato ice shaken espresso with oat milk, hazelnut flavor and olive oil and the Oleato golden foam cold brew, made with a version of Starbucks' sweet milk foam infused with two olive oil servings, Starbucks announced on its website.

"Starbucks will begin to introduce the beverages in select markets around the world, starting with Southern California in the United States this spring," the announcement read. "Later this year, Japan, the Middle East and the United Kingdom will launch the beverages."

The company has partnered with Partanna, an Italian extra virgin olive oil brand made by United Olive Oil Import Corp., to provide the oil that would be used for the drinks.

"One thing that's special about Partanna's olives is their uniquely nutty, slightly sweet flavors – think of that rich smoothness of a buttery caramel, it's a natural complement to our coffee," Amy Dilger, principal beverage developer for Starbucks, said. "Whether you enjoy Oleato hot or cold, you get this really luxurious, textural experience."

Italy's coffee culture is famous for the traditions, customs and rituals that come with each cup. Most coffee shops in the country are family-run businesses.

This led to an initial pushback of the opening of its first Italy branch in 2018. Local protesters even set fire to a cluster of palm trees the company planted in the Piazza del Duomo, per CNBC.

A barista pumps coffee at a coffee shop Aug. 3, 2006. Italy's Lavazza looks to increase its presence in the U.S. coffee market. Reuters