What do Italians think of Starbucks

ItalyStarbucks against Coffee culture

Starbucks sees itself as the globalized coffee house in the world. That is why the company wants to gain a foothold in Italy, the motherland of coffee, 45 years after it was founded. With a branch in Milan. But do the Italians really need that?

Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, plans to open his first store in Milan in early 2017. So far he has only advertised the Italian coffee culture. Now that's exactly what he wants to bring back to Italy, says Jan-Christoph Kitzler. "In Italy there are very few coffee houses that deserve this name. Most of them are small bars."

Quickie espresso vs. latte frappuccino

Starbucks is the opposite of Italian coffee culture: At Starbucks, people should sit down and nipple their huge, far too sweet coffee for a long time. The Italian himself, however, quickly jumps into a bar, puts 80 cents on the table, takes a small espresso and leaves again.

"You don't sit down and drink some flavored coffee. No, you take a coffee standing up and that several times a day. You go there for five minutes."
Jan-Christoph Kitzler on Italian coffee culture

The most important question when drinking coffee in Italy is the question: who is inviting whom? "It's such a game here in Italy. They love it," says Jan-Christoph Kitzler. Older Italians don't think much of Starbucks either. It is different with young Italians. "They may have sat at Starbucks while traveling and enjoyed it, but there are also young Italians who are critical of it."

Italian espresso remains unbeatable

This also includes Greta, 27, who is studying in Rome. She believes that Starbucks can only work in Italy if it suddenly becomes particularly hip to take a coffee-to-go around the area. But that's difficult because Italian espresso is unbeatable. Italy correspondent Jan-Christoph Kitzler believes that tourists in particular will go to the Starbucks branches.

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