Bitter Clash as Starbucks Takes on Italy's Espresso

The US multinational hopes to unveil its first cafe, complete with comfy sofas and Wi-Fi, in Milan next year.

Published: 16th October 2015 10:45 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th October 2015 10:45 AM   |  A+A-


Italy is bracing for an invasion of caramel frappuccinos, skinny soy mochas and cinnamon dolce lattes amid reports that Starbucks is to open its first outlets in the crucible of good coffee.

The US multinational hopes to unveil its first cafe, complete with comfy sofas and Wi-Fi, in Milan next year.

It may herald a bitter clash of cultures. Italians typically drink a tiny, strong cup of espresso, or a larger, creamier cappuccino, while standing at the bar on their way to work.

Starbucks has been in talks with an Italian businessman, Antonio Percassi, to establish a toehold in the country, according to Corriere della Sera. Its office in London would not comment.

In Rome, some baristas and cafe owners turned their noses up at the prospect of skinny peppermint mochas and pumpkin spice lattes.

"It might be all right for tourists but I don't think it's going to catch on with Italians," said Giuseppe Gentile, a barista at a cafe near the Trevi Fountain.

But Raimondo Ricci, the owner of Sant' Eustachio Caffe, one of the capital's most celebrated coffee bars, said: "It would be a good thing. Italy is a bit too closed in its views."


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