Starbucks Faces Struggle to Take on Italian Coffee Traditions

My piece on the rhythms and traditions of Italy’s coffee culture has just been published at Time.

Like the tides of the sea, an Italiancaffé – or bar – has its recognizable rhythms. There’s a rush of office workers at the start of the day, crowding three or four deep at the counter for a quick espresso before their shift begins. And then, just before 10 a.m., another wave: shopkeepers on their way to work.

Davide Casali, 43, a barista at Caffè San Silvestro in downtown Rome, has the timing down to the minute. The busiest time, he says, is right after lunch; it runs from about 1:30 to 2:50 p.m., giving the last of his customers ten minutes to get back to their desks. “Of course, in the summer it’s totally different,” he says. “That’s when everybody’s at the beach.”

Read the rest.

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