Do you want a glimpse of the Starbucks Roastery in Milan?
I am not gardening or sewing today because I am wandering around Milan. At least today I didn’t get lost. A couple of days ago Siri was very, very bad and almost made me cry. But a couple days and a 6 hour walking tour later, I know where a few things are without her. na-na-na.
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Milan has been on my routes 3 times now in one week. Once was actually a successful scouting trip on my own, once was on my 6 hour guided tour, and once was this morning when I took my husband to have brunch there.
See the short short video of it below. It is very loud inside. The hum of hundreds of people chatting was a physical force. Or maybe it was the music that was playing several decibels too loud. It was so loud that anyone trying to help me had to practically yell. Other than that it is elegant and palatial.
The mystery of the building
My husband noticed that the cavernous area looked like a covered courtyard. He went on Google maps’ satellite view and showed me that it was. In fact, as we walked the 2.2 miles there from our hotel, we would fairly regularly see glimpses of courtyards through openings to buildings.
If you don’t look inside those doorways, you would think they are all solid buildings. However, looking at the satellite view, you see that that whole area of Milan is filled with buildings with courtyards “inside” them. It makes me want that villa feel in the house we are planning to build.
You will notice that near the top of the outside front of the building you can see the word “Post”. According to my tour guide yesterday, the building was originally the old stock exchange building, then the post office for a while. Now you read Starbucks on the upper facade like it has always been there. The letters are made to look like they might have been on since the building was made.
80% of the employees speak English
If while in Milan you get frustrated with not understanding Italian, Starbucks is the place to go. Everyone I needed to talk to spoke English very well. The only time there was lack of useful vocabulary was when I was ordering the fruit for my yogurt. He didn’t know what strawberries, blueberries, and cantaloupe were, but pointing took care of that.
And the employees are very eager to help you. Someone opens the front door for you (but you have to go out a side door by yourself). The huge guards in dress suits winked at me. There are employees circulating to answer all of your questions.
What would you like for breakfast?
I am used to a Starbucks having food, but this Starbucks has partnered with a well-loved bakery here in Milan. The young lady who explained it to me said that Starbucks recognized that Italians would not be inclined to visit an American based coffee house. After all, Milan has coffee houses peppered throughout the city. And they all have luscious looking pastries. To compete, Starbucks had to be smart.
We shared a croissant-ham-arugula-cheese sandwich. I also had the aforementioned yogurt with fruit and granola yogurt. The fruit was perfectly fresh and tasty. The yogurt was thick and naturally sweet. The granola added the crunch I needed.
I just wanted some normal hot chocolate
My hot chocolate was not what I expected. Apparently hot chocolate means pudding to Italians. Even at Starbucks. I have had hot chocolate in both US and Taipei Starbucks and it was always a drink. I ordered hot chocolate at a cafe for lunch in Milan the day before this and was surprised by a very rich pudding. I thought Starbucks would be different.
In Starbucks, they asked me all the right questions. I watched them put in milk. I said yes to cream. It was served in a mug. But it wouldn’t come out when I tipped the mug to drink. I used my spoon and found that it, too, was pudding. All I had wanted was a drink to go with my breakfast!
If I had wanted pudding, it would have been great. I have to admit, though, it wasn’t a bad addition to brunch. It was very good pudding. My husband put some in his coffee. I had water back at the hotel…
How to make it a low to no calorie meal
It was a 2.2 mile walk to the Starbucks Roastery from our hotel. Then we wandered around to see other famous things. My husband estimates we walked at least 5 miles. Since we didn’t get brunch until about 10:30 and restaurants here in Milan don’t open for dinner until 7:30 pm (which we will also have to walk a ways to), this makes our calorie balance very manageable!
Should you go see it?
If you are in Milan, I think it is definitely worth visiting the Starbucks Roastery. The Italians are certainly there.
The easiest way to find it is to look it up on your phone’s map app and then make your blue dot go toward it. The directions part of the app didn’t seem to work well in Milan on my iPhone. Siri kept telling me to turn on streets that were no where near. Once she told me I was at my destination while in the middle of a street. I never did find the shop I was looking for!
It does help that this Starbucks is not too far from the Duomo. However, there is also the Cordusio metro (or subway, called ATM in Milan) station right by Starbucks. I came up out of the metro station stairs, and there was the Starbucks building in front of me, just across the street. Often the subway stops have more than one set of stairs, though, and you could come up on a different, but still close corner