Is there light (Starbucks) at the end of the tunnel?

November 25, 2007 at 7:42 pm 3 comments

Italians invented espresso and cappuccino. Fantastic! Humanity will be grateful forever. Then we stopped there.

Why is it that every other country capitalized on our inventions, and now have more choices when getting a hot drink than the average Italian could ever dream of?

Our range is limited to espresso, espresso macchiato, cappuccino and caffelatte. No choice regarding the size, the type of milk or even the container.

I could possibly agree that what we have is the best, but I’m sure that there is space for some product proliferation (I’m a microeconomist after all, I know these things). More choice could not hurt the average Italian bar customer.

Starbucks is now present in so many countries (even Romania) but does not dare to enter the Italian market, fearing rejection from the espresso-purists. In the last couple of years Lino’s Coffee , a chain that offers a large variety of coffee drinks (using flavours even!), has started opening cafes in many Italian cities.

Who knows, if they are successful then maybe Starbucks could be convinced to step in as well?!


The day may not be too far away when, stepping out pushing the Bugaboo,  I will find my fix of tall-skinny-hazelnut-wet-latte with just two pumps of syrup right around the corner!

-Michela in Milan

Michela’s Icon


Entry filed under: Food, Milan. Tags: , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Courtney  |  November 26, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    Wouldn’t it be perfect if Starbucks would brew Italian coffee?! That would be the best of both worlds… Of course that would NEVER happen.

    But I do have to say that there is something charming about sitting at a bar in Italy having a “real” cappuccino out of a proper coffee cup!

  • 2. Esther  |  November 27, 2007 at 8:09 pm

    Although Starbucks has their headquaters for EMEA in Amsterdam (there must be some sort of tax benefit?), the first Starbucks branch in Amsterdam was only opened this summer – on Schiphol, after customs, of all places!
    I don’t know why they don’t have Starbucks here – I always thought the Dutch would be way too tight to spend over 6 euros for a coffee; but it can also have something to do with all the ‘coffee shops’ already existing in Amsterdam?? 🙂
    Actually, the fact is that a lot of coffee chains have already tried to put up shop in this small country, and many have failed. For that 6 euros, we do expect high quality! And this is maybe the reason that Starbucks is not in Italy???

  • 3. Emilie  |  November 27, 2007 at 9:29 pm

    I LOVE having a really coffee by the bar in a cafe in Paris, but I have to admit, sometimes I just have a real urge to have a decaf, skinny, tall cappuccino. I almost feel guilty….. but off I run to Starbucks as they are now all over Paris.

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Kids and the City

Four girls in 4 cities. Here they hold an online conversation about life in their city, products they love, and how to balance motherhood and a stylish lifestyle...


  • Courtney (London)
  • Esther (Amsterdam)
  • Emilie (Paris)
  • Michela (Milan)

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