Starbucks celebrates the opening of its first store in Italy and the most beautiful Starbucks in the world: the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan. The highly anticipated Milan Roastery is the crown jewel of Starbucks global retail footprint – a place where Italian customers can come to discover the art and science of coffee in a breathtaking environment that is both an homage to the city of Milan and a celebration of everything Starbucks has learned about coffee in its 47-year history. Starbucks arrival in Italy – the company’s 78th global market – is unlike any other market opening in its history.
Milan marks the first time Starbucks has established its retail presence in a new country with the Roastery format, of which only two others exist in the world: the Seattle Roastery, which opened in 2014, and the Roastery in Shanghai, which debuted in 2017.
Standing at 2,300 square meters (25,000 square feet), the Milan Roastery is in Milan’s Palazzo della Poste on the Piazza Cordusio – only streets away from iconic landmarks such as the Duomo di Milano, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and Teatro alla Scala. At the Milan Roastery, heritage and innovation take center stage against a backdrop of stunning design and immersive discovery. As customers enter the building, they are met with a jaw-dropping view that spans every aspect of the Roastery experience. Vibrant colors reflective of the Italian fashion and design community greet each person, and over the course of the day, space transforms from the light filtering through the glass ceiling.
At the heart of the environment is a fully functioning Scolari coffee roaster, manufactured just miles outside of the center of Milan. To the right, customers will find the main bar, where classic espresso beverages mingle with cutting-edge coffee innovation. The wood-fronted bar features fluting, which echoes a motif found in Italian architecture throughout history, and is topped with marble sourced from the world-famous quarries of Tuscany. Upstairs on the mezzanine, customers can discover ArriviamoTMBar – where mixologists are on hand to create specialty cocktails behind a 10-meter-long (30 feet) marble bar carved from a single block of Calacatta Macchia Vecchia. And finally, to the left, customers will see upon entering a PrinciTM Bakery, complete with a wood-fired oven, built brick by brick, onsite by hand using a crew of masons and artisans.
Throughout the Roastery, the physical retail environment is complemented by an interactive augmented reality (AR) experience, encouraging customers to use their mobile device to uncover more about Starbucks Reserve® coffees, the roasting process, and the company. The centerpiece of the AR experience is a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall visual representation of Starbucks history and its coffee – engraved in brass by local craftsmen, burnished to an ombre finish and backlit to bring warmth to the story. Outside on the building’s terrace, customers can enjoy the full range of Roastery coffees, cocktails, and cuisine in a distinctly European environment – that of a street-side café. Also adorning the Roastery’s portico is a striking statue of a siren – the symbol of Starbucks steeped in classical lore – completely hand-carved in Carrara marble by Tuscan sculptor Giovanni Balderi.
The Roastery provides customers unprecedented visibility to all aspects of the roasting process, with a 360-degree walk-around view of the manufacturing site. This transparency into the science and craft starts with green coffee being poured out of burlap sacks, continues through the roaster and sweeping cooling trays, and reaches a dramatic crescendo as the 6.5-meter-high (22 feet) bronze cask unfolds like a blooming flower, allowing a glimpse inside of the de-gassing chamber – a natural part of the roasting process. From there, coffee whizzes overhead through copper pipes directly to silos at the coffee bars, where customers can enjoy a fresh cup of Reserve coffee, or to the in-house pack line to be packaged for distribution in Starbucks stores across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Showcasing the Best of Milan Baker Rocco Princi In 2016, Starbucks announced a strategic partnership with Italian baker Rocco Princi, making his artisanal, freshly baked food the exclusive pairing to the company’s premium Reserve brand. Following the introduction of Princi food to the Seattle and Shanghai Roasteries last year, Princi is now available in the first Reserve store located in Starbucks headquarters in addition to the first standalone U.S. Princi store that opened this summer in Seattle. The Princi Bakery in the Milan Roastery is anchored by a wood-fired oven made using an ancient technique, with a unique method of radiating heat using fire, creating Rocco Princi’s ultimate tool for making bread the way it’s meant to be done. The facing is a rough-cut Porfido Giallo, sourced nearby in the Lombardy region. In this area guests can also see the dough being made from the finest flour and water, a view of the whole process that is similar to the coffee journey on display elsewhere in the Roastery. Items baked in the Princi Bakery will be available both here and throughout the Roastery for customers looking to pair their coffee with the perfect bite – be it savory or sweet.
Inspired by the Italian aperitivo – social cocktails paired with small delicacies in the early evening hours – the Milan Roastery will be the first Starbucks location to feature an Arriviamo Bar. Located on the mezzanine at the top of a sweeping staircase, Arriviamo is a destination for a carefully crafted cocktail or special coffee service. At Arriviamo, a team of mixologists create beverages from a bespoke menu that draws on both the Italian palate and Starbucks coffee heritage. From classic Italian favorites such as the Spritz and Negroni to cold-brewed coffee cocktails that infuse flavor and craft, customers can witness a whole new theatre of experience that is both distinctive from and complementary to the bars on the main Roastery floor. In addition to serving aperitivo in the evening, customers can also enjoy coffee on the mezzanine – all while observing the Roastery and manufacturing experience from a new vantage point up above.