The bets are on as to whether American takeaway coffee will succeed in convincing Italian coffee lovers of its status as the new irresistible “in” drink. About one month after the launch of the very first Starbucks in Italy (in the heart of Milan), the odds are still not clear, and local curiosity about the arrival of the multinational coffee bar chain is still running high.
Up until now, the arrival of coffee to go in the homeland of the espresso has whipped up mixed reactions, ranging from the disgusted contemptuous view taken by coffee “purists” to the piping hot welcome extended by the fans of the American brand. A giant that has just closed the third quarter of 2018 with a revenue of 6.3 billion dollars: Starbucks cups have taken over the world.
American takeaway coffee cups with lids: the crème de la crème of trendy coffee consumption!
It all begins with the containers, arguably the most iconic ones used for food and drink products today. Indeed, American takeaway cups with lids are currently the bee’s knees everywhere we go, thanks to the many appearances coffee served in this way has made in modern cinema and in our favourite TV series, the stars of which invariably roam the city clasping an American takeaway coffee.
Hands up anyone who has never dreamed of emulating Audrey Hepburn in the opening scene of “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”? And who could ever forget the coffees to go clutched by the trainee played by Anne Hathaway in “The Devil Wears Prada”, or by the girls from “Sex and the City” as they gadded about the city?
The chances of American takeaway coffee catching on in Italy: what’s hot
It’s not only about the coolness that oozes from a coffee drinker who strolls about sipping from a cup with a lid. There are other reasons why American takeaway coffee could become trendy in Italy too:
- It is already well-known and loved. Hordes of young people have already tried it and loved it when travelling in the large European capitals.
- Lifestyle. Obviously, the choice of Milan is no coincidence: various studies confirm that takeaway coffee tends to be more successful in cities where the lifestyle is particularly frenetic.
- More caffeine. Those who choose American coffee also do so to obtain larger doses of caffeine than that typically found in a small cup of traditional Italian espresso.
- Tradition is no obstacle. Coffee shops such as Starbucks have already succeeded in overcoming local traditions and becoming successful in countries that are traditionally linked with tea, such as China and the UK. Will this be the case in Italy too?
The chances of American takeaway coffee catching on in Italy: what’s not
But watch out! It’s won’t necessarily all be sugar and cream for coffee to go. Here is why it might not catch on in Italy:
- Habits. We are not used to consuming coffee in the journey from the bar to the office. And it doesn’t take us as long to drink it either: a minute is more than enough time to drink an espresso.
- Social aspect. Choose, order, pay, leave: that’s it. Instead, in Italy, we like to say hello to our local barman, have a chat with the others at the counter, take a break with a friend or colleague.
- Temperature. Usually coffee in tall takeaway cups is served at extremely high temperatures because it is designed to be carried around and so cannot cool down too quickly.
And then there’s the most important reason of them all: the taste. Many love it. But others feel as though they are drinking “dirty water”. In short, time will tell, but in the meantime, with all due respect for American takeaway coffee, at the moment we prefer enjoying the sweet, well-balanced taste of Classico capsules: goodness to be savoured, one drop at a time. Perhaps while chatting in the office with colleagues.