The flagship “Reserve Roastery” is located inside a former stock exchange and post office near Milan's cathedral.
The American company, whose founder Howard Schultz claims to have been inspired to start his empire by a trip to Milan, says the cafe was designed as “a tribute to the Italian coffee culture that helped shape Starbucks and a celebration of everything the company has learned over the years about the art and science of coffee”.
Beans are roasted onsite in a giant, Italian-made coffee roaster.
The beans travel to this giant, rotating cask. We're not sure what it's for but Starbucks says it “periodically unfolds and rotates, like a blooming flower”. Ok then.
A board displays the blends available.
The Milan Starbucks also features what the company calls its “first ever affogato station”, where staff use liquid nitrogen to make ice cream based on the traditional Italian dessert of of gelato topped with espresso.
Bread is baked onsite in partnership with Italian baker Rocco Princi.
Outside is a terrace featuring seating in giant “bird cages” as well as a mermaid, the company's logo, carved in Carrara marble.
Upstairs is a cocktail bar serving alcoholic drinks and aperitivi.
Hot drinks will be served in crockery, unless customers request a cup to go, while cold drinks will be served in single-use plastic cups – to the disappointment of environmental campaigners who had challenged Starbucks to avoid the use of disposable cups in Italy.
All photos courtesy of Starbucks.