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News / Life / Food

Olive oil and coffee do mix if you like your latte nutty

By Benjy Egel, The Sacramento Bee
Published: May 10, 2023, 6:04am

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Starbucks’ new Oleato line of coffee drinks with olive oil has been met with intrigue as well as derision. Only one Sacramento roastery has been brave enough to follow suit with its own version: Pachamama Coffee Company.

Pachamama’s olive oil latte, a seasonal special at all five of the company’s Sacramento-area cafes, was introduced at the end of March and has been an item of interest ever since, said chief retail officer Cruz Conrad.

It’s nutty, rich and a bit bitter, with a mouthfeel that lingers long after swallowing. You can add lavender syrup or honey for a sweeter, more floral taste.

Pachamama baristas start by pulling two or four shots of Five Sisters espresso, a medium-bodied blend of beans. The name refers to the five countries (Peru, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Mexico and Ethiopia) from which Pachamama sources its beans.

Baristas then whisk in a quarter-ounce of Arbequina olive oil from Capay Valley-based Pasture 42, Pachamama’s neighbor at the Davis Farmers Market, for about 15 to 20 seconds. Pachamama sampled a dozen olive oils before settling on Arbequina, a Spanish varietal with a slightly fruity flavor.

“We realized that we wanted to have a certain kind of mouthfeel, a texture and a creaminess that would ultimately not distract from the drink but elevate the drink,” Conrad said.

The customer’s choice of milk (oat milk is the default) is steamed to 135 degrees and poured in to form latte art in the shape of a leaf.