It’s no big deal.Energetic digital creator and longtime coffee lover Chris Olsen just thought it would be fun if he filmed a TikTok video of him buying Starbucks coffee at a New York airport and handing it over to his Washington, D.C. Father
He then handed the cup to Megan Trainor. And then there’s Ashley Tisdale. Then there’s Charm Carpenter. Then there’s Drew Barrymore. then austin butler in “elvis” World premiere (Cannes!). By last fall, he had brought Vice President Kamala Harris a cup of coffee directly. “She’s so cute and the whole thing is so surreal!” he said.
But Olson didn’t really realize he had become a viral phenomenon until complete strangers — a fraction of his 9.6 million TikTok followers — started approaching him about his iconic video series. “People are like, ‘Where’s my coffee?’ If I host a red carpet event, or send me coffee,” said Olson, who only joined the social media platform in 2020 and was previously named‘s Sexiest Man on TikTok. “Because of all these interactions, I realized I was doing more than just living my life online.” The in-person popularity also inspired him: “I wanted to create something physical that anyone could enjoy at home.”
Enter Flight Fuel, his new coffee brand featuring a blend of three internationally sourced whole beans (cowboy, caramel and hazelnut) and two cold-brew espressos (vanilla and caramel). True to his high-flying style, each piece is named after a major airport around the world, and the brand is inspired by the unmistakable style of Pan Am in the 1960s. “I really try to cover all my bases, and if you like a certain type of coffee, I’ll blend it for you,” he says. “I’m also trying to make it personal, so people watching my content feel like they have a little part of me.”
After flying from Los Angeles to New York (he splits his time between the two cities), Olson spoke on the phone about his mocha for CNN Underscored.
For the record, Olson’s drink order was a vanilla iced latte or vanilla cold brew. That’s why he’s extra excited about the customizable drink. “It was the first one I tasted, and I knew right away it was for sure,” he said. “It’s not like you drink it and you’re immediately overwhelmed with vanilla. So you can add a little sweetener or milk if you want.” The product comes in a travel size, so customers can take it with them, he added.
• related: The best cold brew coffee makers we’ve tested
Confession time: The perishable coffee that Olsen brought to his celebrity friends did complete the journey, but it was always discarded upon reaching its destination. He aims to change that with this thermos. “It stays cold or hot for up to 12 hours,” he says. In other words, “It can definitely handle cross-country flights. If I’m going to Dubai, it probably won’t last long.” He also raved about the stand’s bright, light, colorful design, “It makes me happy” .
After Olsen’s morning iced latte, he starts his day with a warm mug from this unique ceramic mug. “I’ve always been very interested in this mug because it really keeps your coffee warm for hours,” he said. Thanks to the built-in battery, it can last up to 80 minutes at 145 degrees — or a full day if it’s on a charging coaster. Don’t worry, you can wash it by hand.
“I’m definitely someone who likes to drink a little espresso,” he said. “I think it’s important to have one of these at home because you can really customize how you want your coffee to be made and how strong you want it, even brown.” He opted for this tiny black stainless steel latte and card Buccino machine – with 15 bar pump and milk froth steam wand – because it’s “very affordable”.
• related: The best espresso machines we’ve tested
Don’t have an espresso machine? You should still use a frother to stir any coffee with milk. “It’s a very simple and cost-effective way to help you make your own beverage,” he said. Here’s a free tip: “We’re seeing the rise of cold foam in coffee culture right now.” This little whip is USB rechargeable (no batteries!) and ready to mix with the click of a button. It even comes with a travel case.
Olson is more than happy to put a lid on it. But he likes to drink his iced coffee through a straw — preferably an eco-friendly one. “I love that bamboo straws are compostable once you stop using them, which is very important to me,” he said. While he admits that metal straws can have a metallic taste, “I don’t think drinking from bamboo adds anything.” (Talking about ecological advantages, he adds that Flight Fuel uses 100 percent carbon-neutral shipping partners.)
Your favorite 13-year-old superstar “perfectly fits the coffee shop vibe,” says Olsen. Swift’s new album, “Midnight,” in particular, is “very good because it’s bright and gets your morning coffee started on the right foot.” (Indeed, Olson just listened to “On the Beach” on his Spotify list. Snow”.) But he’s quick to add that Swift’s music depends on the weather: “If there’s a winter snow vibe, you might want to go to Folklore or Forever. They’re quieter.”
• Here’s Everything You Need to Know About Making Cold Brew
• These are the best coffee subscriptions to buy
• These are the best pour over coffee makers we’ve tested