I’ve made my feelings on Starbucks in Italy known before, so I’ll skip that rant for today. I was recently in Milano and I made a special trip to the new Starbucks there and to try their coffee. My expert opinion below.
They chose a beautiful building, not far from La Scala and il Duomo, for their home. Obviously Starbucks wanted to land with a big impression. So far as the location goes, they were successful. Money was clearly not an object.
It’s fancy and high tech inside. Instead of the green that typifies all of the other Starbucks in the world, they have chosen warm and coppery colors and materials, maybe to match the coffee beans (ha ha) or to express wealth (metallic colors can do that). Either one works for Starbucks.
This message board above changes every few seconds with new info. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the time to linger and decode the information. It reminded me of the departures/arrival times at the Termini train station in Rome as it used to be. Now it is digital too.
The usual coffee paraphernalia on offer.
Every sort of bean imaginable is for sale.
The coffee roasting area:
The symbol for the Starbucks “roastery” shops. I think there are 4 worldwide.
A few artworks pay homage to Starbucks.
Oh, and the aspirational wall. This metallic globe is “dedicated to Milan, the city that has inspired our dreams. Every coffee that we have served came from here.”
Cheesy or what?
Oh, and here’s my cappuccino, the worst one I’ve ever had anywhere in the world:
It doesn’t even LOOK right, does it? I drank a few sips and then found one of the thousands of workers milling around and told her that I am from the US and that I know Howard Schultz (he used to be a neighbor), and that I thought he’d be sad about my cap.
She asked what was wrong and I said, well look at it.
She asked if she could make me another one and I agreed, as long as it was takeout. I needed to catch a train. She refabricated my old cap, making it milkier, and dumped it into takeout cup. It was still awful.
Don’t come to Florence, Starbucks. I’m warning you.