Nearly five decades after it was founded in Seattle, Starbucks is set to open its first store in Italy — and while founder Howard Schultz has promised his company will enter the country that perfected the cappuccino “with great humility and respect,” the Frappuccino slinger’s impending arrival is being met with plenty of wrath from Italians.
Earlier this week the coffee giant confirmed a September 2018 opening for its Milan store, and as the Local Italy points out, Italian Twitter quickly lit up with criticism for Starbucks: “I beg you, exorcize [sp] this evil before it’s too late,” one user tweeted.
Suggest Italy tells Starbucks where to go with equal humility and respect— Enzo (@espressoHE) May 7, 2018
America: *puts a Starbucks in Italy*— Feliciano Vargas! (@HetaCiaoItalian) May 7, 2018
Italy: Um...yeah, excuse me, what the fuck is this?
No tourist will fly across the ocean to sit and drink shit Starbucks coffee for $5 a cup.. hopefully it’s a huge fail and these multi national corps will stay out of Italy.— Marvus Sarcasticus (@MSarcasticus) May 8, 2018
If anybody buys Starbucks in Italy they should be immediately deported— Michael dowling (@Michaeldowlin14) May 7, 2018
The publication also posted a Facebook poll asking its readers if they’d welcome Starbucks into Italy, and a whopping 87 percent answered “no.” Many commenters claimed the chain’s arrival would erode Italian culture, though several did admit it would likely be popular with tourists and young people:
The chain’s first location in Italy won’t be just any old Starbucks: The 25,000-square-foot Roastery will open in a historic post office building near the famed Milan Cathedral. The company’s fifth Roastery, it will feature single-origin beans roasted on-site and coffee drinks prepared via a variety of brewing methods including pour over, siphon, and Starbucks’ proprietary Clover brewing system.
Coffee consumption is deeply ingrained in Italian culture: Espressos are typically consumed quickly, while standing up at a bar, and rarely cost more than a single euro. With its pricey, super-sized lattes and pseudo-milkshakes, free Wi-Fi, and plentiful seating, the arrival of Starbucks will undoubtedly shake up Italian coffee culture — whether they like it or not.