Do you remember when we used to daydream about taking a big glass with our name on it, and walk around the city like the American movies with a giant dose of caffeine? These days are over. After the spectacular Apple Store opening in Piazza del Liberty, we couldn’t miss the famous American coffee shop, setting Milan as a city in step with the great international metropolises. The American giant Starbucks has landed almost literally in the shadow of Madonnina, as the store overlooks Piazza Cordusio, a few steps from Duomo.
The location that was chosen to receive the largest Starbucks in Europe is the historic building that overlooks the square. First it was a headquarter of the Stock Exchange, and then the Post Office. On Thursday, September 6th, the square was armored and closed to the traffic for the triumphal inauguration: choir, orchestra and maxi screens that projected the film on the relationship between Milan and Howard Schultz, the lucky founder of the chain, for a select list of guests who first have admired the arrival of the long-awaited “made in USA” coffee shop in Italy. And then, from Friday 7th, long queues of curious and clients.
Forget about the common aspects of Starbucks, where we usually take refuge on holiday in the capitals: the Milanese store is the Third Reserve Roastery of the group, after those in Seattle and Shanghai. The view allows you to admire daily the grinding and roasting coffee. The airy interiors with high ceilings are reminiscent of a former industrial area, but furnished with care and elegance. Outside, there are some tables to enjoy the bustle of the city while you are comfortably seated under elegant gazebos that recall aviaries.
The changes are not limited only by the decoration and architecture. According to the Italian coffee tradition and the local impact in terms of espresso, the Milanese Starbucks has an ad hoc menu created with Italian products and recipes with the gastronomic culture in mind. Here, the Frappuccino and Pumpkin Spice Latte give space to espresso and Moroccan accompanied by the now popular Macha and Chai Latte. Thanks to the partnership with Princi, the counter will be daily supplied with pizzas, focaccia, desserts and cakes from the Milanese chain. Italians are also the gelato and the sorbets molecular of Alberto Marchetti, from Turin, famous for the freezing by liquid nitrogen.
Even the food menu is typically Italian with caprese, parmigiana and lasagna. The real novelty for the Starbucks home is the “Arriviamo bar”, located on the mezzanine, a space dedicated to a 100% local tradition, the aperitif. But we are all sensitive to spoilers so stop with the anticipations, wait your turn patiently in line and discover news, great classics and exclusive blends of the first Italian Starbucks.
Excited or maybe disappointed, you will be able to observe in the next few months the relationship between the proud Italians, from the espresso, and the American cafeteria, to draw your own conclusion. It has been said that the next stores in Milan will be much more similar to others Starbucks around the world, where you can – finally – enjoy a huge Frappuccino with cream.