Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

What does the name Olea mean?
When is your harvest season?
What type of olive oil do you have?
What type of olives do you offer?
What is the expiration date on your olive oil?
When is your olive oil available in the US?
How should I store the olive oil?
How should I store the olives?
I see some white spots on my olives. Are they ruined?
How did you choose the packaging for your olives?
What is your return and privacy policy?
What is your shipping method?
Do you have an email list?
Are your products sold locally?
Do you attend any events?
What happens in the case my olive oil freezes?
My honey has crystallized, is it spoiled?

 

What does the name Olea mean?
Olea (gr. Ολέα, pron. [oh-le-uh]) is the ancient Greek name for olive.

When is your harvest season?
Our harvest season starts every year late November and continues until the end of January of the following year, depending on the environmental conditions and the size of the harvest. Olives in general are harvested and pressed once per year and even though harvest seasons vary slightly, all producers harvest around the same time.

What type of olive oil do you have?
We have two types of olive oil, the Olea and the Olea Gold. Both types are certified organic (in the European Union and the USA), extra virgin and first cold pressed. The difference is the stage of ripeness of the olives used. Olea is produced by fully rippened olives and Olea Gold is an early harvest before the olives reach full ripeness.

What type of olives do you offer?
Kalamon (black) whole (with pits) or sliced olives in red vinegar brine and Tsakistes (green) in a savory/lemon brine. From time to time we have new types of olives available. Please visit our online store for a complete catalog of all our products.

What is the expiration date on your olive oil?
The date we have on our olive oil is a best before date (BBD) and not an expiration date, since olive oil doesn't really expire, it just deteriorates. Our olive oil maintains its quality and properties for at least 18 to 24 months after bottling, in proper storage conditions. After that it begins to very slowly deteriorate. The bottling time for our Olea Gold is at the end of the harvest season (usually January) and for our Olea is May. We continue to test our samples every few months and examine lab results to learn more about our olive oil.
The above times are approximate estimates and vary by year. You may still consume the olive oil for several months after this date as well. There are regulations that apply to olive oil on how long the "best by" time period should be, but they are based on the average "olive" oil, which is often a blend with other oils and unfortunately more often than not with other vegetable oils. Our olive oil has continuously been tested to maintain its properties for significantly longer periods of time.

When is your olive oil available in the US?
We only provide olive oil of the current harvest season. Olea Gold is available from March and Olea from June, following the harvest season.

How should I store the olive oil?
You should store your olive oil in a dry/cool environment away from heat and light. The olive oil follows sort of a bell curve during its life span. It begins as bitter and the quality continuously improves until it reaches a plateau during which it does not get any better. It stays at that plateau for several months depending on how the trees were cultivated, weather conditions, the effect of disease like the olive fly, harvesting method, how quickly it was pressed, how it was pressed and how it was stored. There are lab tests that we perform every year (several times throughout the year actually) that will tell us how long our olive oil will stay at its peak plateau. After several months, the olive oil starts to very slowly deteriorate (acidity climbs etc.). Again, the rate of deterioration depends on the above factors. Note that this whole discussion assumes pure extra virgin olive oil, not blends with vegetable and other oils.

How should I store the olives?
You should store your olives in a dry/cool environment away from heat and light till opening. Once you open the container with the olives we suggest to either refrigerate them or keep them in a dry/cool and dark place. The olives must be covered in brine always and if you prefer to keep them outside the refrigerator make sure you have a layer of olive oil on top. Olive oil acts as a barrier to the environment and keep your olives fresh.

I see some white spots on my olives. Are they ruined?
The white spots that you see on the olives are a naturally occurring result of the olive undergoing fermentation. It is harmless, and does not affect the taste of the olives. The probiotic bacteria of the Lactobacilli strain can be found in the brine and on the surface of the olives, and are responsible for the white “biofilm” we see sometimes in our olives. This film is formed due to the high concentration and availability of sugars, amino acids, vitamins and other nutrients during the process of fermentation, providing the ideal environment for the survival and growth of these bacteria. Our olives are lacto-fermented preserved, meaning they are preserved in brine and are not exposed in high temperature treatments or pasteurized. Once the olives are covered in the brine, that white layer will be dissolved. We do not have an actual measure for the concentration of the probiotic bacteria on our olives, but taking under consideration that we hand pick them, preserve them in spring water with organic vinegar and low salt concentration, they are not exposed in harsh conditions (temperature, sterilization) and we see the “biofilm” formation, all these are indications that the probiotic bacteria are at least active and kicking in our olives.

How did you choose the packaging for your olives?
The olives have to be stored in vacuum to retain their freshness, crispness and nutrients. There are generally three choices of packaging olives: vacuum sealed bags, vacuum sealed trays and glass jars. Glass jars are by far the most attractive and usually what consumers go for. In order to use glass jars a vacuum has to be created for the reasons we stated earlier. Since glass is not flexible like the trays or bags, the entire jar with the olives in it is boiled, so air can evaporate and during this process the cap is placed on it. When the jar cools down the outside pressure is higher and a (almost) vacuum is created. When you open a jar, the pop you hear is because of that vacuum.
At Olea we place quality first. Therefore, we do not want to boil our olives that we go through a lot of effort and strain to pick fresh at the right stage of ripeness and seal them until you taste them. Vacuum sealed trays can achieve this freshness, but we found out that during shipping these containers are prone to damage. This is why we chose our vacuum sealed bags, where olives are preserved in the brine and all air is sucked out of the package as the seal is placed on top. It's the same process as the vacuum sealing you may have done at home to place food in the freezer. This process achieves an even better vacuum than the jars without the boiling. Furthermore, we only use BPA free plastic bags, because that way our olives are lactofermented and preserve the probiotics that are found on the surface of the olives.

What is your return and privacy policy?
Please review our return and privacy policy.

What is your shipping method?
We process your order within 24 to 48 hours after we receive it and we usually ship with USPS or UPS. After shipment you will receive an automatic email notification with the tracking information of your order.

Do you have an email list?
Yes we do! If you would like to subscribe, please email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with “subscribe” on the subject line.

Are your products sold locally?
We have different retailers throughout the US. Please visit our retail page to check whether our products are sold near you.

Do you attend any events?
Yes we do! Check the front page of our website for events we attend every year. Come, meet us and taste the Olea difference first hand.

What happens in the case my olive oil freezes?
When your olive oil is delivered and waits for you at home while you are away, it might freeze during the winter time. Just let it thaw completely before use. It is perfectly fine!!

My honey has crystallized, is it spoiled?
The crystallization or granulation process is natural and spontaneous. Pure, raw and unheated honey has a natural tendency to crystallize over time with no effect on the honey other than color and texture. Futhermore, the crystallization of honey actually preserves the flavor and quality characteristics of your honey. The two principal sugars in honey are fructose and glucose. The content of fructose and glucose in honey varies from one type of honey to the other. Generally, the fructose ranges from 30- 44% and glucose from 25- 40%. The balance of these two major sugars causes the crystallization of honey, and the relative percentage of each determines whether it crystallizes rapidly or slowly. What crystallizes is the glucose, due to its lower solubility. Fructose is more soluble in water than glucose and will remain fluid. To avoid crystallization store the honey in a dry cool environment. If you find that your honey has crystallized, don’t throw it out. It can easily turn back to liquid form by slowly warming the container in a pan of warm water. The bottom line? Crystallization is a gift of nature

 

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612-888-OLEA (call or text)

Olea STL retail store hours: Mon 10-1, Wed 3-6

 

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