Starbucks Is Releasing Olive Oil-Infused Coffee. Here's What We Know

It might be hard to argue that Starbucks has been all about innovation from its start. The first location opened in 1971 at Seattle's Pike Place, and the coffee chain has expanded into a global sensation with a loyal following. The chain often introduces limited-time drinks — like its iconic pumpkin spice lattes and peppermint mochas. But even outside of seasonal flavors, the chain is consistent in adding new, unique menu items. The chain even has a not-so-secret secret menu.

Starbucks just announced its newest lineup of drinks, which will be infused with Partanna extra virgin olive oil. The unexpected combination is intended to provide a smoother, richer coffee-drinking experience for customers.

The announcement comes alongside a letter from Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz, who shared that he discovered the idea while traveling in Sicily last summer. He stated that he was inspired by a Mediterranean tradition in which people ingest a spoonful of olive oil daily. He joined in on the custom while traveling, and began drinking his morning coffee at the same time.

These drinks will have a smoother feel

Starbucks will be serving up three new drinks featuring olive oil. The Oleato Caffè Latte combines a blonde espresso roast with Partanna extra virgin olive oil and is then steamed with oat milk. The Oleato Golden Foam Cold Brew infuses the Partanna olive oil into cold foam, which tops off cold brew coffee. The Oleato Iced Shaken Espresso layers olive oil-infused oat milk with espresso and hazelnut flavoring. These drinks will be available worldwide, although the Milan Starbucks Reserve Roastery will get exclusive access to four other drinks featuring olive oil.

Some were a bit baffled about the praise for Schultz amidst Starbucks union discussions. The on-again off-again CEO of the company has faced criticism for his rejection of unions, and campaigns to deter Starbucks employees from unionizing. One Twitter user posted, "Had to turn off CNN this morning. Huge puff piece on Howard Schultz and how revolutionary his new coffee is. Nothing about union busting, of course." Others were more concerned about the taste of the coffee. A concerned user tweeted the idea, "Italian border agents need to stop allowing Howard Schultz into the country."

Whether you are concerned about the politic of it all or not, you may still want to try the new drinks, which are expected to arrive in Starbucks stores later this year.