As a recent unofficial New York City tour guide for an Italian friend who's first time in America was just a few weeks ago, I have experienced first hand how important the art of coffee is to Italians. Sure I have been to Italy multiple times, but when you are on their turf, coffee shops are camouflaged into everyday life. By this I mean that there is a certain standard of coffee/espresso that Italians are used to, and every Italian coffee shop meets the expectations of their people. In the hopes of fulfilling my friend's coffee expectations in New York, I brought him to multiple high end boutique coffee shops where the barista's thought their product was top of the line. Continually he was disappointed claiming that the consistency was not right, there was too much espresso in the cup, the temperature was off etc. After all the disappointments, I shyly suggested that he try Starbucks. I swear he looked right through me as if I had insulted his entire family - he also informed me that one of the major news stories in Italy at that time was on the opening of the first Italian Starbucks in Milan. He said Italians were more than outraged, that the only customers will be tourists. I thought he might be exaggerating a bit but then an article on Wired.com featured the headline, "Italians compare the arrival of Starbucks to the Apocalypse". This all sounds very similar as to when Domino's tried to find its' niche in Italy late last year. In this fight, I am rooting against Starbucks. Italy may be the last place in the world where some coffee originality exists. High hopes to keeping that alive. Read more on Eater.com.