FAQ

Take a look around! Here you can find more about our brand and other useful information. Don’t see your question here? Email us at hello@kosterina.com.

General

What are some of the best ways to cook with Kosterina?

Kosterina extra virgin olive oils and vinegars are a cook’s best friend. Our extra virgin olive oils are produced to withstand high cooking temperatures (over 425° F) and our balsamic vinegars add depth of flavor to any dish. Lastly, our EVOO dark chocolate has been known to make the best indulgent-but-healthy desserts and treats. You can find our treasure trove of Kosterina-crafted recipes and recommendations here.

Are Kosterina products kosher?

Kosterina products are not certified kosher. However, extra virgin olive oil is a naturally kosher product.

Does Kosterina offer gift messaging on orders?

We highly recommend our products as gifts! You can add gift messages to any order during checkout and your gift message will appear on the packing slip.

What is the best way to place a large order (i.e. for event favors or multiple recipients)?

If you are looking to purchase multiple bottles of any product for an event or you’d like to gift our products to multiple individuals, please reach out to our customer service team at hello@kosterina.com. Depending on the size of your order, you may be eligible for volume discounts. We are here to help bring your vision to life!

Which retailers carry Kosterina?

Kosterina is carried at retailers across the U.S., including Whole Foods Market, Crate & Barrel, Bloomingdales, and many specialty retailers. You can find Kosterina at a store near you here.

Shipping & Returns

Where does Kosterina ship?

Kosterina ships to all 50 states.

Does Kosterina ship to locations outside of the United States?

At this time, Kosterina only ships to locations within the U.S. 

How soon after placing an order will it ship?

All orders will ship 1-2 business days after the order is placed.

Where does Kosterina ship from?

Kosterina orders ship from Indiana.

What is the shipping cost?

Shipping is free for all orders over $75 in the US, excluding Hawaii and Alaska.

  • Orders under $75 are subject to a $8.99 shipping charge
  • Skincare-only orders under $75 are subject to a $4.99 shipping charge
What is the shipping cost for subscription items?

Any subscriptions under $75 receive a reduced shipping rate of $4.50. All other subscription orders over $75 receive free shipping.

How are breakables like EVOO and vinegars shipped?

Kosterina EVOO and vinegars are bottled in glass bottles, so we ship all orders in heavy, corrugated cardboard boxes, similar to a wine delivery box, to protect the bottles.

What to do if my Kosterina tin arrives dented?

Do not stress! A dented tin is a purely cosmetic issue that does not affect the quality of the oil. Tins leaving our facility are in perfect condition and well-packaged; however, on occasion, damage may occur in transit. We accept returns only when there is severe damage or leaking.

What is Kosterina’s return policy?

We want all our customers to be happy. If, for whatever reason, you are not, please reach out to hello@kosterina.com.

Olive Oil Facts

What does EVOO stand for?

"EVOO" stands for “Extra Virgin Olive Oil,” and is pronounced "EE-voo." Since "Extra Virgin" is an official indication of quality, the term EVOO is the correct abbreviation vs. shortening to "Olive Oil" which implies a different quality product altogether.

How is extra virgin olive oil different from regular olive oil?

The different qualifiers for olive oil reflect the point at which the olive oil was first extracted. "Extra virgin" olive oil comes from the very first press of the olive. “Virgin” olive oil comes from the second press. Finally, “pure” or regular “olive oil” can be from the third or 4th press.

In addition, in order to be deemed extra virgin, olive oils must have a polyphenol content of at least 55 mg/kg, as measured at the time of harvest. All Kosterina EVOO has a polyphenol content of over 400 mg/kg.

We, of course, don’t recommend you consume anything except pure extra virgin olive oil!

What are polyphenols?

Polyphenols are a group of naturally-occurring, plant-based chemicals found in a variety of fruits, nuts, seeds and spices - including olives. Like other antioxidants, polyphenols are proven to fight against aging-related diseases like heart disease, high blood pressure and cholesterol, as well as certain types of cancer. In addition to their anti-aging properties, polyphenols contain strong anti-inflammatory properties. In fact, it’s thought that two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil a day is enough to provide these anti-inflammatory benefits. You can read more on our blog post here.

Why are some olive oils called "early harvest"?

Kosterina EVOO is always harvested early. “Early Harvest” is a designation given to extra virgin olive oils that are harvested early in the season - aka when the olives are still unripe (aka green!) and have the highest polyphenol content (and therefore health benefits); therefore, harvesting olives early is key to making the best quality extra virgin olive oil.

Of course, as you might have imagined, unripe olives harvested early yield less juice, which means more olives are required to make a bottle of EVOO, which is why authentic early harvest EVOO tends to be healthier and more flavorful (...but also more expensive).

Is it true that there is a lot of fraud in the olive oil market?

Yes, there is a lot of fraud in the olive oil market; many oils that read “extra virgin” on the label have been diluted with other refined oils and do not meet the necessary requirements (such as polyphenol content or acidity levels). You can find helpful information on our blog here.

How do you identify good EVOO and spot fraudulent ones?

Here are additional tips for spotting high-quality EVOO while shopping:

  • Look for an opaque glass bottle. Light is the enemy to good olive oil, and plastic bottles can contain microplastics.
  • Look for a harvest date on the bottle. You always want to make sure you’re consuming the most recent harvest, happens between October and January each year. 
  • Read the bottle, looking for any reference to the source of the olives. Many olive oils are not from where they imply through branding. If you can’t find a source, stay away. 
  • The best way to test quality is to taste it. We highlight how to test EVOO like an expert in this blog post.

To learn more about how to identify high-quality EVOO see our full article here

What are the health benefits of olive oil?

Olive oil has been proven to lower LDL (bad cholesterol) and raise HDL (good cholesterol) levels when used to replace saturated fat such as butter. It also contains beta carotene, vitamins A, E, D and K, plus many more healthful nutrients. Research shows these nutrients have beneficial effects on almost every bodily function.

Extra virgin olive oil has the lowest oxidation rate of cooking oils, meaning it is able to maintain its molecular structure when heat is applied. You want the lowest oxidation rate possible because oxidation promotes free radicals, chemicals that are highly reactive and damage cells. Some of this damage may lead to cancer and other disease states.

Extra virgin olive oil is also one of the best sources of antioxidants, which protect cells from damage and oxidation. Extra virgin olive oil also has an amazing skin- and body-protecting polyphenols called hydroxytyrosol. Studies show that hydroxytyrosol has among the greatest free-radical absorbing capacities.

How long is it safe to use olive oil after opening?

It is recommended that a bottle be consumed within 3 months of opening for maximum quality, taste and health benefits (Since EVOO has so many uses and benefits, we usually finish ours well before 3 months!). That being said, our EVOO is still safe to consume after 3 months. It will just be less fresh, tasty or health-benefiting.

How should olive oil be stored?

In a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and never in the fridge. We recommend displaying your beautiful, opened Kosterina bottles on the countertops in your kitchen - and your sealed back ups in the pantry!

Our Products: Olive Oil

When is Kosterina EVOO harvested?

Kosterina EVOO is harvested early in the season, in November or December, in Greece. The EVOO is then brought to the U.S., packaged and available for sale by March.

This year’s harvest was in November 2022. We always want our customers to only have the freshest EVOO, which is why this harvest will be available for sale only until next year’s harvest becomes available. 

Is Kosterina EVOO organic?

Kosterina Organic Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil is certified organic.

Kosterina Original Extra Virgin Olive Oil (and all of our flavored olive oils, which use the Original as their base EVOO), are produced using organic farming methods, with no herbicides, pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. This product is not currently certified organic but you will begin to see the organic version on shelf in fall 2024.

What kind of olives is Kosterina EVOO made from?

Kosterina EVOO is always made from a single crop of early harvest Koroneiki olives - the most popular (and we believe the best) varietal in Greece.

What is the polyphenol count of Kosterina EVOO?

All Kosterina EVOO is made with our high-polyphenol extra virgin olive oil. Our Organic Everyday EVOO has a polyphenol count of over 400 mg/kg as measured at the time of harvest, and our Original Extra Virgin Olive Oil has a polyphenol count of 570 mg/kg as measured at the time of harvest.

How are Kosterina polyphenol counts measured?

Kosterina has a chemical analysis done by a third party as soon as the harvest is complete each year. We use the Folin-ciocalteu method for phenol testing.

What is the acidity profile of Kosterina EVOO?

The acidity level of Kosterina Original Extra Virgin Olive Oil is .17%. The acidity level of Kosterina Organic Everyday Extra Virgin Olive Oil is .29%. For reference, in order to be deemed “extra virgin,” an olive oil must have an acidity level below .80%. 

What is the smoke point of Kosterina EVOO?

The smoke point of all Kosterina extra virgin olive oils is over 425° F, making it an excellent choice for grilling, roasting, baking, frying, or cooking at most high temperatures. You can read more on the science of cooking with olive oil here.

What is the flavor profile of Kosterina EVOO?

High-quality EVOO should smell like fresh grass, fruit, or vegetables and reveal more fruit and vegetable flavors as you swirl it around your mouth and taste it. Kosterina Extra Virgin Olive Oil, made from Koroneiki olives, has notes of green tomato, artichoke, and banana. As a high polyphenol EVOO, when sipping or tasting it, you will experience a strong peppery sensation at the back of your throat when you swallow it (which might cause you to cough! a tell-tale sign of strong antioxidants).

What does the “best by” date on Kosterina EVOO bottles mean?

The “best by” date on Kosterina EVOO bottles is not an expiration date, but rather a frame of reference for when EVOO should be consumed for maximum fresh flavor and health benefits. Our “best by” dates are marked for 2 years after harvest.

What is the difference between the Everyday EVOO and Original EVOO?

Kosterina Original EVOO is highly aromatic and intensely flavorful - a testament to its high polyphenol content of 570 mg/kg. It is ideal for drizzling, dipping, and finishing – any time temperature is not applied, in order to experience the full extent of its robust flavor.

The Organic Everyday EVOO has a more subtle flavor, a slightly lower polyphenol content of +300 mg/kg, and an incredible price point for the quality. It is perfect for using liberally when cooking any meal.

In summary, our blue bottle should live next to your stove and our white bottle should live on your kitchen table.

Is Kosterina EVOO safe for skin?

It is safe to use EVOO on your skin; however, we recommend using our Olive Oil based clean skincare line which uses carrier oils that nourish the skin without the potential to cause breakouts. 

There is a long history behind the effectiveness of EVOO and its benefits for the skin. Not only is it great for hydration and glow, but it's packed with antioxidant properties like squalene that protect your skin from free radicals, environmental damage and more. This was why we launched our skincare line - take a look here.

Our Products: Vinegar

Where is Kosterina Balsamic Vinegar made?

Our balsamic vinegar is made in Modena, Italy. Like Champagne, balsamic vinegar is a protected product; in order to be deemed authentic balsamic vinegar, it must be made in Modena, Italy.

How long has Kosterina Balsamic Vinegar been aged?

Our balsamic vinegar is aged for 6 years in oak barrels that are 30 years old.

What are the health benefits of balsamic vinegar?

Like extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar is high in antioxidants.

Does balsamic vinegar need to be refrigerated?

No - it is recommended that balsamic vinegar be stored in a cool, dry place and never in the refrigerator.

What is the shelf life of balsamic vinegar?

If stored in a cool, dry place, balsamic vinegars are usually safe to consume for up to 3 years.

Is sugar added to Kosterina Balsamic Vinegar?

No sugar is added–the sugar content all comes naturally from the fermented grapes.

Where is Kosterina Crushed Fruit Vinegar made?

Made from White Cooked Grape Must, imported from Italy, and White Wine Vinegar, imported from Greece. Fruit is crushed and combined with imported products in the U.S.A.

Does crushed fruit vinegar need to be refrigerated?

No - it is recommended that crushed fruit vinegar be stored in a cool, dry place and never in the refrigerator.

What is the shelf life of crushed fruit vinegar?

If stored in a cool, dry place, crushed fruit vinegars are usually safe to consume for up to 2 years.

How does crushed fruit vinegar stay good for so long if you use fresh crushed fruit?

The vinegar used in our Crushed Fruit Vinegars naturally preserves the fresh fruit - it does not go bad, change in flavor over time, or need to be refrigerated. There are no preservatives or additives.

Is sugar added to Kosterina Crushed Fruit Vinegar?

No sugar is added–the sugar content all comes naturally from the fermented grapes and crushed fruit.

How can crushed fruit vinegar be used?

Crushed fruit vinegar is one of our most versatile ingredients - it can be used in salad dressings, sauces, desserts, drinks. It also stands up well to heat, and you should not feel hesitant to bake with it or reduce it on the stovetop as part of a sauce. For recipes see here.

Our Products: Olives

Are Kosterina olives organic?

Yes, our olives are USDA Certified organic.

How should I store my olives?

Olives should be stored at room temperature. After opening, they should be refrigerated and consumed within 3 weeks.

What makes your olives healthy?

Our olives are naturally cured in sea salt for up to 1 year, resulting in a fermented, high-probiotic olive. Probiotics help promote a healthy gut, and have been associated with a number of health benefits. Like all our products, they are free of harmful additives. They are raw and unpasteurized, with no added preservatives.

Why are your olives "easy" to eat?

We wanted to design the perfect snacking olive, with none of the fuss. Our olives are dry packed so there is no messy liquid to drain. They are also pitted so that you can easily toss into salads or eat from the jar. Lastly, they are flavored with fresh herbs and spices which means there is no additional seasoning needed.

What variety of olives do you use?

Our dark olives are all the Kalamata variety of olives. We make Kalamata olives in our Greek Herb & Spicy flavors. Our green olives are Konservolia variety and come in a Coriander & Pink Pepper flavor. All our olives are grown and cured in the Peloponnese region of Southern Greece.

Our Products: Skincare

Why is olive oil good for my skin?

Olive oil is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, and has been linked to improved skin moisturization and anti-aging effects such as helping to reduce the appearance of wrinkles. When applied to the skin, antioxidants may prevent premature aging. Extra virgin olive oil has exceptional moisturizing and nourishing properties to hydrate the skin of both face and body. Kosterina early harvest olive oil has a high concentration of polyphenols, known for their antioxidant content, which is known to have tremendous health benefits.

Why can't I use JUST olive oil on my skin?

We have formulated products with optimal levels of olive oil for each specific product in order to provide the maximum benefits of the olive oil to the skin while offering the perfect aesthetic performance such as quick absorption onto skin.

Will olive oil clog my pores?

Kosterina skincare products is dermatologist-tested and are formulated with non-comedogenic ingredients, which optimally won’t cause breakouts or clogged pores

Why use Kosterina olive oil-based skin care products?

Kosterina early harvest olive oil has a high concentration of polyphenols, known for their antioxidant content, which is known to have tremendous health benefits. We have formulated skincare products with optimal levels of our olive oil along with ingredients such as Lachestim, known to reactivate youth proteins in the skin and olive-derived squalane, that protect the skin barrier, resulting in a younger, fuller-looking appearance.

Is Kosterina skin care packaging recyclable or sustainable?

Our packaging is made with recyclable glass bottle, paper carton and/or sustainable PP (polypropylene) recyclable plastic.

What does "clean beauty" mean for Kosterina?

All Kosterina skincare products contain only the good stuff and none of the bad. We formulated our products without emulsifiers, parabens, petrolatum, paraffin, phthalates, toluene, triclosan, triclocarban, formaldehyde, aluminum powder and animal by-products.

What is lachestim?

An exceptional oil extracted from the Pistacia Lentiscus, a tree native to the island of Chios, Greece, Lachestim is known to reactivate youth proteins and improves the supporting fiber density. By reactivating cellular antioxidant activity that improves DNA protection and increases collagen synthesis, this core ingredient helps skin look younger and fuller.

What is olive-derived squalene?

Olive-derived squalene is a botanical lipid, known to hydrate and maintain the skin's barrier while it fights free-radical damages, this valuable lipid is extremely compatible with the skin to helps restore a more youthful appearance.

What is in the fragrance?

Our signature scent consists of an herb spice essential oil blend with hints of lemon, rosemary and lavender that are meant to transport you from your daily routine to the Mediterranean seaside.

Full scent profile: Cardamom Oil, Lemon Oil, Sandalwood Oil, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Lavender Spike Oil, Lemongrass Oil, Clary Sage Oil, Lavender Oil, Vetiver Oil, Patchouli Essential Oil, Spanish Marjoram Oil, Matricaria Oil, and Peppermint Oil.

What is the difference between a face oil and a face serum?

Serums are lightweight, concentrated liquids formulated to help correct skin concerns such as hyperpigmentation and dullness. They are typically water-based and contain other moisturizing ingredients like hyaluronic acid. Facial oils are oil-based liquids formulas and typically formulated with non-comedogenic botanical oils and includes plant extracts and antioxidants, which won’t cause breakouts or clogged pores. Face oils are rich, emollient formulas that helps moisturize and soften the skin and nourish the skin barrier while leaving a youthful glow.

Do you test on animals?

We love our furry friends and do not test on animals.

Is Kosterina skincare organic?

Several ingredients in our products are certified organic.

I have eczema. Can I use Kosterina skin care?

If you have any specific skin concerns, we recommend consulting with your doctor or dermatologist before use. While we cannot make any medical claims at this time, you will see from our customer reviews that people with eczema have taken a liking to our products.