Italy: the land of wine, food and coffee. But also a country known for its cycling clothing, bicycle brands—such as Bianchi—and for being the homeland of several cycling legends. The Boot of Europe however is a late adaptor when it comes to American (i.e. fast food) chains, perhaps because eating and drinking are an important part of Italian culture. Recently, however, Starbucks dared to set foot on Italian soil, and that has led directly to an interesting collaboration.
A real experience
Starbucks took a new approach when opening its first shop in the city of fashion, Milan. The chain is aware that the Italians don’t have to learn how to make delicious coffee, so Starbucks has fully focused on the experience. To create this, the company established a roastery in a 2,300 sq m building just around the corner from Milan’s famous Duomo (Milan Cathedral).
This is the third roastery that Starbucks has opened worldwide. The whole process, from roasting coffee beans to making a strong espresso, can be witnessed and experienced here. And of course you can get everything else you would normally buy in a Starbucks. To give the Italians a reason to take a chance and try Starbucks’ products (an espresso is on average € 0.80 more expensive than in the rest of Milan) the American chain has entered into a partnership with a local bicycle builder—Bianchi, that is. And together they have delivered a visually beautiful and unique product.
The all-rounder bike is only available in-store. The minimalist, grey frame with coffee-coloured accents is certainly beautiful to look at, and represents what Italy is known for: cycling and coffee.
Although we don’t have any interest in a Starbucks in Milan, this bike is certainly interesting for us (fans of bike design) and gives us a reason to pop in. And then perhaps to enjoy a delicious, Italian, espresso on a terrace further down for € 1, -.