A former Best Reviewed product, Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil continues to be included in a great many taste tests. However, perhaps because of the increased availability of many premium brands, few current reviewers show any particular enthusiasm for this olive oil, and some are dismissive, with comments like "merely acceptable." While one reputable site gives it a second place finish in a 2008 round up, in 2010, another equally reputable site ranked Colavita dead last in its taste test of 28 olive oils.
Most review sites test olive oils by slurping them with a spoon or dunking into them with a good bread. With olive oil, the more olive-y the taste, the better. Unfortunately, this is where Colavita fails with several reviewers, who deem it bland. With olive oil, anything that could be mistaken for canola or corn oil isn't going to win any taste tests.
Several supermarket olive-oil brands, such as Goya Extra Virgin Olive Oil (*Est. $9 for 17 oz.), consistently get better reviews than Colavita -- and most of them cost a lot less. With a wider variety of olive oils available on supermarket shelves in recent years in all price ranges, Colavita no longer garners enough positive attention to merit Best Reviewed status.
1. Cook's Illustrated Magazine
The experts at Cook's Illustrated sample a wide variety of supermarket and popular premium olive-oil brands, including Colavita.
Review: Tasting Lab: Regular Olive Oil, Editors of Cook's Illustrated, July 1, 2008
In this innovative report, ConsumerReports.org asks the question Can a cheaper olive oil hold its own against a more expensive premium brand? To find the answer, editors test 18 supermarket and premium brands, including Colavita, comparing them for flavor and quality -- with surprising results.
Review: A Cheap Bottle Beats a Pricier Lineup, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, Sept. 1, 2004
3. Choice magazine
Editors test more than two dozen olive oils, ranking them for flavor and fresh olive taste. Premium Australian olive oils rank highly at this Australian site, while some familiar Italian olive oils don't fare so well.
Review: Test: Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, Editors of Choice magazine, June 22, 2010
Writer Stephanie Zonis slurps her way through more than 90 olive oils, rating each on individual merit rather than comparing them. Her assessment of Colavita is that it's "grassy and leafy with a lingering aftertaste."
Review: The Great Extra Virgin Olive Oil Project, Part II, Stephanie Zonis, Nov. 2005
Prompted by a letter from a college student on a budget, writer Erin Zimmer and a team of taste testers sample nine olive oils in a quest to find the best tasting, inexpensive brand. They judge Colavita to have a "nice, olive-rich taste" but concede that it isn't that exciting, adding that its relatively high price makes it not the best value.
Review: Taste Test: Cheap But Good Olive Oils, Erin Zimmer, Sept. 30, 2009