Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said the move would be made with "great humility and respect" for Italian coffee culture; he even said that Starbucks owed its existence to it. ", That said, Starbucks’s most radical contribution to most new markets, to-go coffee, is rare in Italy. Howard Schultz’s splashy new Milan opening is the culmination of an obsession. It’s a massive coffee roaster, cafe, and shop, open to the public as of September 7. While Italian coffee culture is vaguely familiar to coffee drinkers around the globe, Starbucks's culture is actually very well-known to most of the developed world. Starbucks has allegedly based its coffee shop model on Italy's cafe culture, but how does it really measure up? “I don’t think [Italian customers] really care about flavor profiles and notes, mainly because in order to properly distinguish them, you need some expertise,” says coffee roaster Carlo Russo, who owns the nearby coffee bar Milano Roastery. Parla notes, "while there might be an 'Italian' coffee culture, there isn't an 'Italian' mentality." This is true at other American cafes and at third-wave shops like Stumptown as well. These days Starbucks coffee shops are a common sight on almost every corner, in almost every major American and European city in the world–except Italy.Italy resisted all these years without a Starbucks, but the first shop opened in Milan on September 7, 2018. Starbucks has partnered with Percassi, an Italian retail and real estate company that owns franchises of Nike, Victoria Secret, and Lego. ", "They’re not going to try and mimic the Italian experience. “America Coffee” is the first caffeinated beverage listed. "Often offices will order coffee delivery from a bar and the server will just use the standard porcelain cups and deliver it all to the office and pick up the used cups with the next delivery.". What Are Hot Chocolate Bombs and Why Are They Suddenly Everywhere? But it might prove a bitter taste for locals, “Dedicated to Milan, the city that inspired our dreams. Luckily, they’re just a few months away. For decades, for everyone from bureaucrats to factory workers, coffee has been the best excuse to take a quick pause (or three) in the day. Is Italy Really Ready for Starbucks Milan? Coffee is a deep part of the culture, with myriad local shops competing to sell espresso and cappuccinos. She elaborates, "Casting a population of diverse means and experiences as having a universal opinion on Starbucks is simplistic. Starbucks, which was founded in 1971, has apparently stayed clear of Italy because of the country's strong coffee culture. According to the National Institute of Italian Espresso, a shot of espresso is around 29 milliliters including crema; at Starbucks, every shot is a double shot by default. There are now more than 500 McDonald’s stores in Italy. Over the next 30 years, he exported his idea of the Italian coffee-drinking experience into more than 28,000 locations in 78 countries. Coffee has become an integral part of Italian culture, with around 8 million bags imported annually. Italians don't need Starbucks. ", Jake Leonti, a coffee consultant based in New York City who has worked with Italian espresso companies Filicori Zecchini and Caffè Moak, sees Schultz's talk of honor and respect as simply good manners. "It’s about the experience rather than the taste. ", Starbucks’s most radical contribution to most new markets, to-go coffee, is rare in Italy. What’s more, Starbucks’s Milan Roastery opens at a time when the city is rife with establishments that nod to American cuisine and beverages. Is this the end for Italian coffee rituals as we know it? Open all day, coffee bars are a grounding daily ritual for Italians of all walks of life. The American company, which has more than 23,000 stores across the globe, will soon open one shop in Milan early next year. “We are very proud of the Reserve Roastery experience we are bringing and have no intention of teaching Italians about espresso. In Italy, espresso flavor profiles are very rarely discussed. “If it’s not too crowded and teeming with teenagers, which usually happens to trendy new establishments, I won’t mind going,” he says. Twenty years ago, former Danone manager Marco D’Arrigo launched California Bakery, which specializes in all-American desserts such as cookies, apple pie, and cherry pie. Coffee culture runs deep; il caffé is a ritual with an ingrained set of rules. While the roastery is a more immersive coffee experience, Starbucks also plans to open additional cafes in Milan in late 2018. Ultimately, this isn’t simply a new cafe opening. newsletter, David Chang’s Memoir Fails to Account for the Trauma He Caused Me. It’s thus both ironic and completely understandable that the country most associated with coffee eluded Schultz’s Starbucks for 28 years. Some people are outraged, others intrigued, others indifferent, and so on. According to Reuters, analysts say that Starbucks’ Italian entry could have an impact on local café culture. Italy is expected to prove a challenge. Schultz then repeated the story of discovering the Starbucks model of serving coffee while walking the streets of Milan and Verona in the early 1980s. But does Starbucks fit into the city’s current coffee culture? Starbucks's green signage is already ubiquitous in almost every city in the world so it came as a bit of a shock when the coffee mega-chain announced its move into Italy, a country that holds a central place in the chain’s origin story, earlier this week. She elaborates, "Casting a population of diverse means and experiences as having a universal opinion on Starbucks is simplistic. However, to say that Italians are outraged at the news is hyperbole at best. Wired's headline, "Italians compare arrival of Starbucks to the Apocalypse" was pulled from the account of a Twitter user with 21 followers. But will it actually work? "The Italian café is a culture that the Americans have repackaged," said a spokesman for one of Starbucks' European competitors. A different coffee culture. A kind of “burnt” taste. In Milan, both everyday coffee bars and gilded, opulent establishments (such as Cova in Via Monte Napoleone, established in 1817) are integral parts of the city. There’s a tea “perfumed with Jasmine aromas with ginger spice and orange peel accents.” An artisanal affogato station is dubbed “Fire and Ice.” A new drink, the Cordusio, which pays tribute to the marocchino (a shot of espresso, cocoa powder, and milk froth), was launched worldwide this week in honor of the opening. Now they want to bring the Starbucks brand to Italy. An espresso costs, on average, just under one euro (77p), with no extra charge for a macchiato. For all its Italian trappings, Starbucks has little to do with Italian coffee. The partaking of il caffè is a way of life. “It’s cool to visit Starbucks, parade around a city with your paper cup, and take a photo of yourself with it for the Instagram.”. Good luck finding a vanilla iced coffee on any cafè menu. “I think it guarantees service and products of a certain level, in contexts where it’s usually hard to come by a high-quality beverage.” Still, he says he probably won’t be a regular at the Milano Roastery because it’s not within walking distance from his office. "Most cafes aren’t even equipped with proper to-go cups, but will sell coffee to take away in flimsy plastic cups," notes Parla. to that store's business when it opened in 1986 was the dangerous crush of customers clamoring for a burger. The city of Naples boasts Cup Cap’s Café, whose tagline is “American Style, Neapolitan Coffee.” On this note, purists just have to acknowledge the obvious: There is, indeed, a high demand for beverages beyond the espresso/macchiato/cappuccino trifecta. Every American food chain that has expanded into Italy (or France for that matter) has done a lot of handwringing, at least publicly, over how its designers, culinary team, and marketing managers plan to approach a country with such a proud, established food culture. Italians do have a couple spins on the traditional iced coffee drink, though. "The whole transaction is brief, social, and affordable, rarely costing more than €1.00," says Katie Parla, a reporter based in Rome (and Eater contributor), of the process of ordering a coffee. Starbucks popularized espresso, got people excited about coffee from different countries, and introduced a whole new realm of drinks that were considered at the time - ironically - “specialty” (think flavored lattes and other creative coffee drinks). Except at a few palatial cafes in grand cities, seating is limited; there are no plush lounge chairs or wireless charging stations at coffee bars in Rome or Florence. Today Italy is a country of coffee aficionados who will not tolerate (or visit) an establishment that has bad coffee. But in an effort to show its support of local Italian businesses, the coffee giant partnered with a longstanding and well-liked bakery chain, Princi. Practices program. “Starbucks is trendy,” Caligaris says. "They’re not going to try and mimic the Italian experience," he said. – It’s their Italian Roast. But for an employee on the receiving end of that rage, the book fails to truly reckon with the pain he left behind. Starbucks will enter Italy with “tremendous humility and great respect for the culture,” Schultz added, with the support of its business partner, Percassi – a well-respected and prominent Italian company with a proven track record for operating major brand partnerships across Italy. Despite their allegiance to coffee bars, somewhat paradoxically, Italians don’t seek out what Starbucks’s stateside roasters tout: single-origin beans or precisely temperature-controlled brews. Milan has long been peddled as the spiritual birthplace of Starbucks. So today’s coffee is a Starbucks coffee, but it’s a different Starbucks coffee. Some people are outraged, others intrigued, others indifferent, and so on. "When they set out, they tried to bring the Milan experience to America. Leonti doesn’t expect Starbucks to follow a strict interpretation of Italian espresso, or for that to be the draw, especially for young, cosmopolitan Milanese. 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