The real price of a macchiato

Starbucks bagOn Wednesday, Starbucks opened its first store in Romania. Regardless of whether you view the Seattle chain as the incarnation of evil or as a savior of the coffee-hungry world, this is big news for Romania, where coffee culture is still largely domestic.

The arrival of Starbucks signals that the coffee wars of Eastern and Central Europe are about to begin in earnest.

But that’s not what this post is about. Jo was there, tested the goods and liked it. While in the US, I spent countless hours and dollars there. I hate their regular brew (hate might not be strong enough a word to describe my feelings toward their bitter regular blend), but I loved getting a skim caramel macchiato or a skim latte. Not to mention the seasonal (and awesome) pumpkin spice and eggnog lattes.

Yes, I bought the skim versions because Starbucks fancy drinks also pack a mighty calorie punch. I hope Romanians don’t dive head-first into the frappuccinos; better count those calories first.

Although I miss having easy access to caramel macchiatos, I probably won’t be a regular at the Bucharest location even thought it’s five minutes from my apartment there. Why? Because in America, the amount I paid for one couldn’t get me much else. The amount I have to pay for one in Romania though, can get me a whole lot.

Here’s a quick table I put together. Take a sip.

Starbucks

9 Responses to “The real price of a macchiato”

  1. Jesus. I can’t imagine they’ll have that many customers.

  2. I’m willing to bet they will. Remember all the stories I told you about McDonald’s being a dating spot when the first ones opened back in the 1990s? A similar fate awaits Starbucks.

  3. yes, I am sure they will be filled with returning customers. And the price does surprise me. I expected it to be higher, given the trend (Zara from Istanbul is at least 2 times less expensive than the Zara shops in Bucharest). I am sure their Starbucks is also cheaper! I will stick to Gregory’s coffee after I stop being pissed by the fact that they no longer make Cherry Mocha.

  4. I was there on Saturday morning, at 10 o’clock, when the thing actually opened. [i wasn't THAT curious, i just happened to be there]. And there was a line. And it was pretty full. I wouldn’t have the guts to go there during the day.

  5. Before this event, did there exist a knockoff Starbucks in/around Bucharest? In most places it seems like this is the case until the big boys move in. Here in Tg. Mures, though, we really don’t have anything even similar to starbucks. We have crap in a plastic cup from a kiosk or fancy sit-down establishments, nothing in the middle. And so it seems with many other things in Romania. Such a lack of creativity here…

  6. City Bar (comes with Gregory’s sandwich bars) and Gloria Jeans (fancier, in malls). City Bar has pretty good coffee, nice cups and all. I’m a fan of their Moccachino, which is about 7 lei for a big one (as big as a SB grande). They’re available in several locations downtown, at the train station and at the airport.

  7. I know what you mean about Harbuck’s regular brew. Elle told me a while back (while we were squandering our money there) that it smelled like a used ashtray. I was holding a cup of the stuff.

    I sniffed. I gagged. I poured it out.

    Actually I think I drank it. Because you can’t waste good coffee, even if it has been dressed up with a Marlboro or five.

    But I vowed to never have Harbuck’s regular stuff again. Because it turns out, elle was right on. It ain’t that regular.

  8. you forgot about the brittish chain Costa!

  9. I am romanian and I work for Sbux in Ireland.Great company overall.can’t belive the prices they are charging in Romania…you’ll pay those money in Dublin for a macchiato…regarding Costa I woldn’t be to worried…it is no compatition to SBUX.trust me…it is one cross the road from my SBUX store
    Best of luck in Romania,we needed something like this…might come home with a transfer

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