Locals express horror at Starbucks’ plan to open first branch in Italy

According to the Italian newspaper Corriere, the American coffee chain Starbucks is planning to open its first Italian branch in Milan in 2016.

Starbucks to open in Milan?

Starbucks to open in Milan? Image by Marco Paköeningrat / CC BY-SA 2.0

Italy’s coffee culture, traditionally involving a stiff espresso drunk standing at the bar of your local cafe, has so far been remarkably resistant to outside influences, and the rumour that Starbucks might be on its way was met with horror and disdain. Restaurant owner Michele Grimaldi said: ‘It's disgusting. I've worked here all my life and some customers I've known just as long. Big chains like that destroy the individuality of places until you can no longer recognize them. It won't work anyway, Italians are too protective.’ Luigi Ordello, president of the Institute of International Coffee Tasters, said: ‘Starbucks today represents an international standard of coffee and not an Italian one. As an expert coffee taster, I’m fairly certain it wouldn’t be successful. An Italian espresso is drunk in a minute – but the aroma stays with you for an hour afterwards, whereas customers at Starbucks tend to buy a large coffee which they carry around, sipping for an hour when they want to taste some coffee.’ Starbucks said that it ‘could not comment on rumour or speculation’. Read more: thelocal.it 

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