Something all great coffee drinkers have in common — we know how we like our coffee.
How do you like your coffee? I like it hot. FBI Special Agent Kim Otto of my Hunt for Jack Reacher Thriller Series takes it black. Agent Gaspar likes his with heaps of cream and sugar. Investigative journalist Jess Kimball enjoys a strong coffee.
When Jess travels to Italy in Fatal Error, she notes some differences in the way Italians drink their coffee — they’re classy, using china, and so are their baristas, making patterns in the froth.
It’s no wonder Italians have mastered the art of a latte design. Being a barista is a serious job in Italy. The average age of a barista in Italy is 48, and is considered a career rather than a part-time job for a student as it often is for Americans.
Next time she travels to Italy to pursue a dangerous assignment, Jess Kimball may have the option of going to Starbucks for her caffeine. That’s right — Starbucks is setting up shop in Milan. Will the branch take off there? Surely some analytics must say yes in order for this kind of investment to happen. But common sense would dictate no:
- According to Forbes, “The Italian cafe market is the biggest in the world, with over $10 billion of retail sales in 2014.” It sure doesn’t seem like they need someone to bring their coffee to them, does it?!
- They love their brew at home. 75% of coffee consumed in Italy is consumed at home, and that number is on the rise.
- Italians don’t have a history of frequenting chain cafés.
- When Italians get their coffee on the go, it’s typically a quick, 5-minute deal. They’ll stand at the espresso bar, chat about current events, and throw back an espresso. Starbucks is known for its cushy chairs that we love to sink into and spend a rainy day reading.
Will Starbucks change the way Italians drink their coffee? Maybe, maybe not. Does it matter? I say, as long as they enjoy coffee, it makes no difference where they get it!
How do you like your coffee?