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>> The world's biggest coffee seller is taking the plunge on Italy, the home of the espresso. Starbucks is betting big on plans to debut in Milan late next year, with a sprawling super-premium reserve roastery in a turn-of-the-century post office building on Piazza Cordusio. Italy has the seventh highest per capita coffee consumption in Europe according to the European Coffee Federation.
And wooing Italian coffee drinkers is a long-term goal of the company, which did originally plan to open its first cafe in Milan this year. But chairman and Chief Executive Howard Schulz says for the first time the coffee chain will build a roastery before a traditional shop, and is brewing plans for a number of sites for stores in Milan to follow.
Starbucks spent reported $20 million in its first roastery in its hometown of Seattle in 2014. The company has reserved roastery projects underway in Shanghai, Manhattan, and Tokyo, and plans to build as many as 30 such projects over time, all part of its strategy to dominate the craft coffee market.