Friday, 5 October 2012

no chance for pumpkin spice latte

Without vanilla, cinnamon and caramel topping, this is an Italian "caffè macchiato caldo".

You just love to start your day ordering a "Tall Half Sweet Peppermint Latte with Caramel Topping" at your local coffee shop and you cannot wait to hang onto that "Grande Iced White Chocolate Mocha" after a busy day at the office? If you are looking for your beloved fancy coffee, Italy is the place to go you think? Well, think twice. The truth is: You can probably buy Starbucks' so-called classic signature blend "Italian Roast Coffee" at any of the 19,972 stores located in 60 various countries around the globe such as Kuweit, Indonesia, Guatemala and Egypt (source: wikipedia), however, you will stand no chance buying any Starbucks coffee Italy. At all. Nowhere. Yes, that's right, there is no Starbucks in Italy. In fact, most Italians are oblivious to the trademark name, the logo and the fact that the coffee chain company has generated a revenue of $11,7 billion in the year 2011. "What's that?" is the usual question I get when an Italian sees me for the first time walking around with one of my Starbucks mugs in hand. "That's green tea in there", is my regular answer before I hear the Italian's guaranteed follow-up question "And what's with the giant cup?". "I got that at Starbucks in L.A. but the first one just like that I bought in 1997 and since then, I have been walking around with my coffee mug everywhere I go, just so that you know", I'ld say and usually look into a face expressing a mixture of curiosity, disbelief and total disgust. After a short pause I'ld hear: "Ahhh. What do Americans know about coffee?" And that's the end of the conversation about coffee mugs and Starbucks. Those kind of conversations come up about at least once very two months around here. 99 per cent of the time occur exactly as mentioned. Once, I remember, a co-worker added: "How gross! How can Americans drink half a liter of coffee a day?" My answer to that? Speechlessness. having lived in Italy for more than two years now, I am under the impression that the Starbucks heads might be intimidated by those kind of conversations with Italians. A rather cosmopolitain woman like me living in Italy has no other choice than to adapt not only to language, fashion, food, customs and traditions but also to the Italian coffee culture. I thought about  two years ago it being a shame that my beloved coffee chain company avoids opening franchises in the country I live in, I am now certain that they have more than good reasons not to start a venture in the land of ice cream, pizza, pasta and, after all, coffee. As far as I am concerned, the Starbucks board of directors can stop investing in researching the market's readiness for a first shop in Italy. It simply would not generate any profits. I am convinced that it is more likely a Starbucks will open in Antarctica before anyone can order a "Pumpkin Spice Latte" in Rome. Too bad for me, I really do miss my "Grande Soy Chai Latte Half Sweet To Go" and no matter what kind of fancy chai tea bags, powders and syrups I use, the home-made stuff just isn't the same. We were at a café earlier today, V. and I. We ordered each a caffè macchiato. It was good - but it would have been so much better topped with sweetened whipped cream, caramel sauce and a hint of cinnamon...  Italians! Really! Come on! Do you all know, what you miss out on?

No comments:

Post a Comment