Starbucks in Porto, threat or opportunity?

2015: Starbucks is going to open in Porto and its creating quite a buzz. Is it a threat to coffee business in Porto or simply a way of stating that Porto’s coffee is one of the best in the world?!

Porto is one of the hotspots in European tourism and every day is raising up the notch so it’s understandable that big chains like Starbucks want to be present.

Locals are not very happy with the perspective that a brand that desecrates coffee is invading an authentic and unspoiled City. However we have to think as a big opportunity to show that Portuguese coffee is excellent and that Starbucks is a trend that can easily be overshadowed by the excellence of a good Portuguese blend.

Art Deco vitral celebrating coffee at Mcdonalds Imperial Café in Porto.

Art Deco vitral celebrating coffee at Mcdonald’s Imperial Café in Porto.

Not being a coffee producer, Portugal benefits of the influence of its former colonies to get the best coffee beans to create amazing blends. From Africa, Asia and Brazil we have supplies that help local brands to create a good blend at a fair price, ranging from 0.50€ to 1.50€, and truth must be said, you get amazing coffee for the lower price.

In Porto and in Portugal if you ask for a Café, you will get a perfect espresso. The term also relates to a meeting, with friends or just for business. Also, if you go on the street, you will find a lot of Cafés, our bars, where you can get everything, including coffee.

Tile mural by at Café Sical in Porto

Tile mural celebrating coffee by Júlio Resende at Café Sical in Porto

About Starbucks, I always recall my first, and only, experience as my worst breakfast ever. Naming that watery barley in a big plastic cup coffee, is like saying that horse piss is Super Bock (the northern beer produced in Porto).

True coffee lovers will, for sure, prefer Portuguese coffee rather than Starbucks Coffee Cleasing Water.

More than a threat I see this as a big opportunity.