And so it begins.
After testing the waters with two Starbucks outposts in Sweden — one at Arlanda Airport and the other at the main train station across the country in Gothenburg — the coffee giant has announced its plans to open 20 more locations, here in the city of Stockholm.
Here’s Dagens Nyheter‘s tagline from their story in this morning’s paper:
Vad? Amerikansk fika-imperialism. Var? Snart i ett hörnläge nära dig. Hur? Hyfsat kaffe och mycket varumärkeskännedom via film och tv.
Here’s my rough translation: “What? American fika imperialism. Where? Soon at the corner near you. How? [Hyfsat?!] coffee and lots of branding via movies and television.” Folkets Lexikon tells me that hyfsat means “decent, well-mannered, reasonable.”
Were I in the US, I would snort — Ha! I would say. Burnt, obnoxious, and expensive! I would say.
And yet here I am, contemplating a trip to the newest outpost of the coffee giant (I hear there will be one at T-Centralen right next to the Burger King), to buy (*gasp*!) coffee beans. I have already admitted my embarrassment at being the beneficiary of family’s largesse in that they occasionally send me bags of Peet’s — and here I am, contemplating the betrayal of my beloved Peet’s. Which I hope is coming to Sweden soon.
Until then, I am sure I will be happy to pay what I assume will be just as much pengar (cash) for a Starschmuck’s cuppa as I would for Wayne’s, Coffeehouse’s, or anyone else’s underwhelming brew in town. Or pehaps, I ought to go only to the snooty espresso bars, and pay even more (mmm, Bianchi’s Café and Cycles! Kafe Esaias! Non Solo Bar! YUM. And not really that snooty).
Otherwise, I’m sticking to my standard practice: brew it at home… and drink more tea because I’ve been having too much caffeine anyway.