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just as i had posted back in may of this year, starbucks has indeed been a success, at least in the alto palermo location. They’ve just opened another location on the corner of viamonte and callao and I hear there are plans for about 3 or more stores. I’m not surprised by the high, US level prices. Starbucks is aimed and marketed toward a more affluent crowd. This should placate the anti starbucks people as they don’t have to worry about SB being on every street corner, simply because not everybody would be able to afford it.

Say what you will about starbucks however let’s be fair. SB was the first specialty coffee chain and is still technically considered specialty coffee when compared to the real coffee giants i.e. Folgers, Nestle, Maxwell House…etc. SB takes a lot more heat because they are much more visible. If it were not for SB however, we wouldn’t have some of the great independent specialty coffee houses today that promote single origins, fair trade and direct trade coffees.


I'm from BA but live in USA. I am actually dying to try one of those Dulce de Leche Frapuccinos which should be the same as the caramel ones here...but you know...kinda different


Hmm Starbucks coffee, I think I'll stick to my maté.


I just went to the Starbucks in Palermo Alta and - though I generally like Starbucks for the service, atmosphere and variety of coffee options - i was a bit disappointed. The price of a grande expresso drink (latte or machiatto) was 13.50 pesos ($4.50) which is more than you pay in the Miami airport. And the flavor was unpleasantly different - not really bad, but almost sour. I'm not sure if it's the difference in the taste of milk here or if they are using a different type of coffee bean to suit the Porteño palate (Brazilian robusto beans - even torreado - is that standard in Buenos Aires).
My wife felt the same way about the taste and price.

However, the store is almost always full and with a long line out the front door. So people are apparently satisfied with something about Starbucks :-)


The best coffee in America is FRENCH! Le Pain Quotidien's coffee is FAR better than overated, overpriced Starbucks. Bottom line is, Americans don't have any coffee tradition or culture, most of them drink some sort of dirty water they like to call coffee, just try the coffee at 711, where in Argentina or pretty much anywhere in Europe you'll find decent and great coffee everywhere.


It's just sad. Lived in the U.S. for a long time, every city looks the same, you start with McDonalds, round the corner your'll find your Blockbuster, every mall has it's Bloomies, Macys, Pottery Barn, Banana Republic, Gap, and I could go on and on. Well, now that everything has been Wall-marted here, let's just take on the world! Starbucks will now grow like fungus in every corner. And let's not forget about the annoying lingo! -"Venti-double-cream-nonfat-decaf-frapuccino" WHAT DOES IT MEAN?????? AAAAARGH!

How much will coffee be? Cos if their prices are gonna be as high as dunkin' donuts were...plus look at McCafe...no one wanted the normal McDnalds coffee so they had to come up with that : coffee served in real coffee cups.


STARBUCKS will most definitely be a success in BA. portenos are trendy and will be drawn to the starbucks brand and status symbol. PLUS sb will serve much better quality coffee as well as offer a wide range of other flavorful coffee drinks.

the arrival of sb helps to raise the bar in terms of higher quality coffee and coffee culture.

in order for coffee to taste good it requires 3 things: high quality beans, good roasting technique to enhance flavors and a good barista who knows how to make a good cup of coffee. unfortunately, argentina - generally speaking - does NOT have ANY of these things. Sb brings all these things with it.

Argentina has a coffee culture centered around drinking mediocre coffee at best. Most of the time, the coffee here tastes like coffee flavored hot water and that is mainly due to the baristas lack of understanding of what makes a good cup of coffee. Most of the beans are indeed imported from Brazil however they are not using the best quality beans. Many times the beans are roasted with sugar in order to hide or mask their lower quality. Brazilian beans typically have a strong, bitter taste, which is why argentine coffee can be bitter rather than smooth and balanced. Café Havana and Café Martinez generally do serve good coffee since they are specialty chains.

Argentines grow up drinking mediocre coffee and of course, develop a sentimental attachment to it. That’s not a bad thing. It’s normal and happens everywhere, including the US, which until only recently has started to develop a coffee culture that demands higher quality beans(single origin), roasting and preparation. The arrival of sb however will change the way people think about coffee. Coffee is the new wine.


for me the main point is the the most selling items from starbucks are not plain coffee but all those weird yet delicious mixtures such us white mocca (in my head everything w/ mocca has to have a brownire color, right?
So, for those who like coffee i dont think strabucks will be of much interesting since we have havanna that uses italian coffee (which i personally love). But, for those looking for some new delicious things to try starbucks will be a good option.
But regarding REAL coffee, sorry, in my opinion, starbucks does not have that.


I have been living in Buenos Aires for over a year now, and I have traveled throughout the Europe and Latin America, and although some silly porteños may be convinced that they have the best of everything here, the coffee (and just about everything other than beef) here is unexceptional. It is particularly difficult to find good coffee grounds or beans to brew good coffee at home. There is powdered sugar in any coffee grounds you can buy at a supermarket and whole bean coffee is low quality at supermarkets and overpriced and usually stale at cafes.

If Starbucks can be as consistent with their quality here as they are in the US and elsewhere then I will personally keep them in business.


Hey! Read this!

Starbucks Cometh! Is Buenos Aires Ready?
by Gwen E. Kirby May 23, 2008

Starbucks is opening its first location in Buenos Aires next Wednesday, May 28th, in the Alto Palermo shopping mall. A long anticipated event, it will compete with a strong Argentine café culture used to medialunas and cortados, not bagels and Macchiatos. According to La Nación, this particular Starbucks is not being opened directly through the American company but in partnership with Alsea, the same Mexican business that opened Buenos Aires’s successful Burger King chain. Anticipating success, Alsea, who already operates Starbucks in Chile, has the rights to open Starbucks across Argentina.



I'm from Buenos Aires and I can't believe that Starbuck is opening here, i love it! In my opinion it will be very succesful as Starbucks is the coffee you always see in the movies, so many people will want to taste it.


You have a beautiful daughter!! I like your blog! I will come and visit often!

Priscilla DLC

I am an American by birth but an Argentine de Alma! I had the oportunity to live there for four years and fell in love with everything Argentine. I work part-time for Starbucks in Palm Springs, Ca, and I agree with some of the comments that perhaps Starbucks will not fair well in Argentina in the long run. Coffee is good there and I can't picture Argentines drinking Venti cups of mostly milk and two shots of coffee! I was in Hong Kong, Macau,and Thailand two years ago and the Starbucks' there seemed to do very well.
Anyway I wish Starbucks the best and hope it does well. I would love to check it out with my friends in October when I go and visit my favorite place in the world!


Sturbucks in Buenos aires?! It will be amazing looking how people take away the milk, cups, sweeteners, sugar etc from the stores. I think the only way to survive with this model is locating inside Patio Bullrich or Paseo Alcorta (shopping malls), but over the street... forget it.
Unfortunately not a business designed for our "culture". It is like thinking to arrive with Louis Vuitton stores in Sucre Bolivia. I think it is not a matter of coffee, it is a matter of business model and market.
18 months survival is my bet, sorry.


What the hell? Obviously, local people who is not fond of the anglos is not welcoming the opening, but.. coming from Guatemala, a place with great coffee even Starbucks buys from us, I do think local argentine coffee is not as strong as guatemalan, but it ain't a crappy one. Let's just wait and see how it goes. I am very excited, Starbucks is something I don't have back home and while living in Buenos Aires, of course I'm stopping by!


I love the idea that Starbucks is opening in Argentina. I truly feel excited about the news. I go back and forth from the U.S. and Argentina and I miss both coffees when i'm in one place and not the other. So it's great that I can enjoy both when i'm simply staying in one place. I know people tend to get sensitive when an american franchise opens in another country. Don't ask me why? All I can think of is just another anti-american protest from a bunch of hypocrites who criticize the U.S. and are probably at the same time wearing some Nike apparel (Boca Juniors and Racing Club both wear Nike), watching an american movie, listening to some american music band or wishing one day to visit New York, Miami or probably Dineyworld. I know politically there can be differences and I could respect that but let's not get confused and mix things. I'm an american and I love both my country and Argentina and no political issue is going to make me not enjoy anything that Argentina or any other country has to offer. It really annoys me when people criticize for the wrong reasons. Starbucks is not George W. Bush or trying to make a war with different coffee shops around the planet. It is simply selling a product that is enjoyed worldwide and is now giving it a shot in Argentina where many people want it. If customers like it great and if not it will simply walk away and better luck next time. I don't see americans rejecting food, coffee, clothes, electronics or what not from Argentina, Mexico, China, Japan, Germany, Italy or from whatever other country. In fact americans welcome any good foreign products and enjoy them without judging where it came from or who made it. I hope Starbucks has success in Argentina. It makes great coffee, different from argentine so it will be interesting to see how it will compete with local coffee which is fabulous. Best of luck for Starbucks!!!!!!!!!!!!


I'm from BA and live in Toronto, Canada...

Sincerely I hope it doesn't last. I miss my coffee from back home and I would not like to see an american franchise to kill the local cafes, typical from the buenos aires landscape.

As Wendy's, Pizza Hut and dunkin donuts, Starbucks will have no luck. Plus everybody who wants that kind of umbrella-juice-tasting coffee they can just go to McCafé. (The McDonnalds version of Starbucks)


Ha ha, the Anglo ignorants want to teach us how to drink coffee, eat pizza, pasta...

Starbucks will fare just like Pizza Hut, food for trailer trash.


O BTW, I'm the girl from the last post. Just forgot to type it before.


Well, I'm from Buenos Aires, Argentina and I must say that I am a bit curious about this huge business related to Starbucks in Argentina.
But let's face it, there will be lots of competition round here for Starbucks cause on contrary as Ronald Martin say posts up from this one, argentinian coffee IT IS NOT PATHETIC, IT IS ONE of the best. The fact that you don't like it doesn't make it pathetic, my dear.



I'm interested in opening Starbucks Chain in Santa Fe-Argentina.If I have chance, please let me know ASAP, Thank you, Angel


I think the perception of coffee in BA (or elsewhere in Argentina) depends a lot on a person's experience and what they are used to.

I'm a serious coffeegeek from Seattle. I say that so you understand my point of view. I hear from BA locals that Argentine coffee has a certain style that most like. Hey, my parents still like Folgers. Typical Argentine coffee is not to my taste, but compared to typical BA coffee Starbucks will seem very good, especially to American. I expect that the design and atmosphere of the Starbucks cafes will also be very appealing to Argentines.

But let's get real here. No one with deep experience with high-quality espresso thinks Starbucks is high quality, not even those who work at Starbucks. It may have been at one time, but Starbucks is a mass-produced commodity now, so the beans aren't fresh, the baristi aren't trained, and the beans are over-roasted to stand up to lots of milk.

It would be an great business opportunity to open a Zoka or Vivace chain in BA. Put a couple in Recoleta and in Palerma Viejo, and create a money-printing machine.

Hey the arg guy

Starbucks will do fine. If the new coffee shops from Mc Donalds are doing so, so good I don't see why Starbucks won't do it as well. Let's welcome Starbucks to BA!!! I hope they sell baggels.


im from argentina, buenos aires, and i`ve been in usa, and i went to starbucks and the coffee is amazing. a lots of friends think the same. so stop saying that is pathetic because is not. i love the idea that starbucks is coming in the 2008, and i assure that everybody will like the chocolates, coffes and others things from starbucks.


im from argentina, buenos aires, and i`ve been in usa, and i went to starbucks and the coffee is amazing. a lots of friends think the same. so stop saying that is pathetic because is not. i love the idea that starbucks is coming in the 2008, and i assure that everybody will like the chocolates, coffes and others thinks from starbucks.


Why do you need Starbuks in Argentina? The coffee there is one of the best in the world. They won't last..and it will be too expensive anyway.


Me to I miss the cafe shops back in Buenos Aires, I thick the Starbucks will not work in Argentina,like Dunkin' Donuts went out of business.


Me to I miss the cafe shops back in Buenos Aires, I thick the Starbucks will not work in Argentina,like Dunkin' Donuts went out of business.


Starbucks in Argentina? Success is assured as Argentinos like being trendy, especially in BA. Competition will be stiff as argentinos are very picky about their coffee. Why? Because coffee in Argentina IS good. Not sure what Ronald had to drink. Keep in mind that people from different cultures have different tastes as they've been accustomed. Argentines like their coffee strong so Starbucks will fit in just fine. Take it from this Starbucks Manager who is also a Porteño.

Ronald Martin

Let's face it....coffee in Argentina is pathetic. You would think being so close to Brazil they would actually import it but no. Whenever I go to Brazil, I buy a case and bring it back. Starbucks is a welcome change although it will be interesting to see what the prices are going to be. Maybe they will be in dollars like other imported items....

Ronald Martin

Let's face it....coffee in Argentina is pathetic. You would think being so close to Brazil they would actually import it but no. Whenever I go to Brazil, I buy a case and bring it back. Starbucks is a welcome change although it will be interesting to see what the prices are going to be. Maybe they will be in dollars like other imported items....

Max from www.superfacilmente.com

I have to agree with DF. As a native New Yorker who has seen starbucks pop up at every corner, I can't help but wonder how they will fair. The truth is that even those hankering a frap can find them in Buenos Aires. There is a coffee shop (the name eludes) on Rodriguez Peña near the Avenida Callao Subte stop and Guidos Mocasinos that serves up a mean mint frappucino under another name and has wifi. So Starbucks will meet fierce competition i imagine


I'm from BA but I live in NYC, I miss BA coffee shops the most, and I don't see the need for Starbucks in Argentina! (from an ex-pat the other way around)

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