Milan, Italy Is Home To One Of The World's Most Impressive Starbucks Locations

There's a long list of impressive accolades attached to Milan. It's home to the world's leading fashion brands, like Versace, Valentino, and Prada. It's known for creating panettone (Italian sweet bread) and as the place where Leonardo da Vinci crafted some of his greatest works, including The Last Supper and Virgin of the Rocks. Equally as significant for coffee connoisseurs, Milan is a destination famous for its coffee. According to Statista, the popular coffee chain had launched 37,500 locations by 2022, making Starbucks the world's leading global coffeehouse brand. With such a grand title and thousands of storefronts in 80 different countries, narrowing down which of these locations is the chain's leading outpost is a difficult task. As of 2023, Starbucks had opened 31 locations across Italy, and only the Milano Roastery is considered a Starbucks Reserve Roastery  — elevated locations that serve unique roasts and the highest quality Starbucks coffee.

As coffee is such an integral part of Italian culture, it's not surprising that the brand announced the opening of a Reserve Roastery in Milan. According to a press release from Starbucks, the Milan Reserve Roastery was "designed as an homage to the Italian espresso culture that inspired Howard Schultz [the chairman emeritus of Starbucks] 35 years ago to create the Starbucks Experience." This stunning feat of architecture boasts an elegant exterior and an opulent appearance, situated in Milan's Palazzo della Poste. While this exclusive roastery features some of the same trademarks as other locations, the Milan outpost also carries many signature touches that allow it to stand out as a unique emblem.

Fusing culture with traditional Italian architecture

The two-level Milan roastery delivers an unparalleled coffee experience showcasing the best of Milan's coffee culture while remaining true to the bold signature Starbucks roast the world knows and loves. While the Milan location carries distinctive traits unique to the brand, there are also a few eye-catching pieces sprinkled throughout both its interior and exterior. According to the location's chief design officer, Liz Muller, it's the carefully curated architectural ornaments that allow you to immerse yourself in Italian culture at this unique Starbucks. Coupled with the local community it has brought together, it's now a sensational hot spot in the heart of Milan. Built with a traditional Italian coffeehouse framework in mind, the Milan Roastery was designed to foster community with a large communal lounge area that invites guests to stay and sip awhile.

The coffee bar is the heart and soul of this storefront, boasting a fluted wood-paneled bar and a Tuscan marble-top serving counter. Intricate details that reflect authentic Italian craftsmanship include a hand-chiseled floor and a green clackerboard. Outside on the European-style patio is a siren icon crafted by a native Italian sculptor from marble, marking this ornamental piece as a symbol of unification between Starbucks and the city of Milan. An immersive augmented reality display highlights Starbucks' history on the walls of the coffee shop's retail space, creating a visual testament to the Starbucks brand's story throughout history.

It's all in the coffee beans

Starbucks may be a global chain, but according to the brand, their Milan roastery was "designed for the Italian customer."  With coffee at the heart of this extravagant coffee house, the location boasts several unique elements that cater to the true Italian local coffee drinker. The coffee bar itself has been referred to as a scene of "Fire and Ice", with a montage of innovative brewing technology and a liquid nitrogen station for their handmade ice cream. You won't find many traditional Starbucks drinks at this location. Instead, the Milan coffee house relies exclusively on Starbucks Reserve Roast, with 115 menu items brewed using techniques like Pour Over, Chemex, Coffee Press, and Cold Bar.

Perhaps one of the most exciting contributions to the Milan Reserve Roastery is the partnership forged between Starbucks and native Milan baker Rocco Princi. Specializing in artisan freshly-baked goods, Princi's spread of local delicacies is available for purchase exclusively inside the Milan, Seattle, and Shanghai Reserve locations. However, the Milan storefront features a unique wood-fired oven that's said to be a special technique utilized by Princi to craft his famous bread. The cocktail bars, interactive Scooping Bar (a station where guests can select their own coffee beans to bring home), and affogato station are other stand-out features to explore during your visit. You can also book unique experiences from coffee tastings and workshops to learning how to craft the perfect espresso martini.