Italy Gets Its First Starbucks—Serving Pizza, Ice Cream, and Cocktails

Starbucks
Starbucks

Italy is a coffee country, and a discerning one at that. While Starbucks might carry Italian-style roasts, that doesn’t mean the U.S. chain is necessarily suited to an Italian audience. For the brand's first store in Italy, Starbucks is debuting something a little different. The company’s new location in Milan will ditch the Frappuccinos for new menu items like cocktails, wood-fired pizza, and ice cream, according to Forbes.

An expansive coffee bar made of marble
Starbucks

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery is located in the Palazzo delle Poste, a historic former post office. It has a bar that boasts a 100-cocktail menu inspired by aperitivo, the Italian concept of a happy hour with bitter drinks and light snacks. It offers food by renowned local baker Rocco Princi, baked on-site in a wood-fired oven, including the Italian breakfast favorite eggs in purgatory, pastries, and pizzas. Customers can also take their coffee in the form of an affogato—a scoop of ice cream topped with hot espresso.

The palatial space includes a 22-foot-tall rotating roasting cask, bars topped with Tuscan marble, a handcrafted mosaic marble floor, and an outdoor terrace.

A barista makes coffee for a customer.
Starbucks

It’s Starbucks’s third Reserve Roastery, the company’s more upscale, experiential locations where customers can watch their beans being roasted, learn about the coffee-making process, and enjoy food and drinks that aren’t available in other locations. There are also Reserve Roasteries in Seattle and Shanghai, the latter of which is currently the largest Starbucks in the world.

The lavish experience doesn’t come cheap, at least compared to other cafes in the area. Reuters reports that a consumer group in Italy has already filed a complaint over the fact that Starbucks charges far more than its neighbors—a Starbucks cappuccino in Milan goes for €4.50 ($5.21) compared to the €1.30 ($1.50) average.

[h/t Forbes]

Fuel Your Cold Brew Obsession With This Elegant, Efficient Coffee Maker

Brrrewer
Brrrewer

The sun is scorching, the days are endless, and the gentle clinking of ice cubes in a glass of cold brew coffee sounds like chimes at the gates of heaven itself.

A beverage so divine deserves to be created by a machine to match, right? Meet Brrrewer, a coffee maker that will provide you with the smoothest, sweetest, richest cold brew coffee you’ve ever had—and it’ll do it in just four hours.

Brrrewer uses the cold drip method to brew coffee in which coffee grounds are suspended between two microfilter membranes. Water is poured over the top membrane, then slowly filters through the coffee grounds and drips out from the bottom membrane. The top membrane ensures that the water is evenly distributed among the coffee grounds, and the bottom membrane allows only the water-turned-coffee to fall into the carafe below, without any of the gritty residue. (That gritty residue is often a result of the full immersion method, which is popular among those with French presses; basically, you just steep your coffee grounds in cold water for 12 to 24 hours, strain out the grounds, and drink.)

The carafe is encased in a second layer of glass, providing thermal insulation and keeping your coffee cold for longer than a regular glass bottle or pitcher. And you can cross “coffee filters” off your shopping list—the microfilter membranes do that job already.

The Italy-based team at Essense designed Brrrewer with elegance and minimalism in mind, so it won’t throw off the aesthetic groove of your kitchen. In fact, it might enhance it. Also, it’s manufactured from a combination of borosilicate glass and BPA-free Tritan plastic; in other words, it’s extra-sturdy and environmentally friendly.

Mixologist Francesco Corona, five-time Italian “Coffee in Good Spirits” champion and world championship finalist, worked with Essense to develop special cocktail recipes for Brrrewer, which you can find in the paperback book, available on its own for $17 or with Brrrewer (the book and coffee maker combo is $78). Order Brrrewer by itself for $67 here, or see other purchase options from Kickstarter.

If four hours is more than you’re willing to wait for cold brew, check out Ninja’s Hot & Cold Brewed System, which can make it in about 15 minutes.

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‘Budget Meal Planner’ Website Shows You How to Eat Well on $5 Per Day

DragonImages/iStock via Getty Images
DragonImages/iStock via Getty Images

Eating on a budget is often associated with instant ramen, fast food, and other meal options that offer a lot of convenience and not so much nutrition. But finding cheap, healthy ingredients at the grocery store is far from impossible: Many healthy staples—like brown rice, canned black beans, eggs, bananas, and sweet potatoes—can be purchased for less than $1 per serving. The one downside to buying fresh ingredients is that some planning is required to get them on the plate. You may still have to do the shopping and cooking yourself, but by using the website Budget Meal Planner, you won't have to worry about brainstorming new meal ideas each week.

According to Lifehacker, every meal plan on Budget Meal Planner can be made for less than $5 a day—which is roughly equivalent to the average food stamp allotment in the United States. Every meal plan includes grocery lists and recipes for seven days worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. The plans on the site are broken down into different themes, including mushroom, Thai, Tex-Mex, potato, and Mediterranean. The recipes listed may be cheap and healthy, but they don't skimp on flavor. With Tex-Mex, you'll get chicken tacos, stuffed bell peppers, and chili. Choose Thai and enjoy Thai chicken cabbage wraps with peanut sauce and Thai yellow chicken curry.

The site includes meat-free options as well. Just select "vegetarian" beneath the "meal plans" tab for vegetarian versions of Budget Meal Planner's recipes lists. The vegetarian take on the Thai meal plan, for example, uses tofu instead of chicken and mushrooms instead of beef.

All of the meal plans on the website are free, but you can support the project by donating to the creator's Patreon. Patrons also have the opportunity to suggest new meal plan themes they'd like to see each week.

Budget Meal Planner publishes a new themed meal plan every Friday, and you can subscribe to the website's newsletter to stay updated. Here are some more helpful tips for planning your meals.

[h/t Lifehacker]

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