Here's what Italians think of Starbucks opening its first store in Italy

Starbucks has opened its first store in Italy, making it the 78th country to host one of the coffee giant's stores.

It is hoping a "premium experience" will woo the coffee-mad locals in Milan - but the initial response from the Milanese was lukewarm at best.

"Americans don't know how to make coffee," said Claudio, drinking an espresso at a nearby coffee shop.

Frothy, chocolatey drinks available at the new Starbucks store in Milan Credit: AP

At the same cafe, another customer, Luigi, said proper Italian coffee is "another world".

"Starbucks is just a label now, it's everywhere, it's a brand, but fundamentally coffee is something else," he added.

This customer said Credit: AP

Starbucks chief design officer Liz Muller said earlier this week the company is "not coming to Italy to teach people about coffee.

"This is where coffee was born," she said.

Instead she insists Starbucks "wanted to come and bring a premium experience that is different to what people in Italy are used to".

In Italy, an espresso at a coffee bar is usually a quick morning or after-lunch ritual performed standing up.

In many neighborhoods, cafes are practically on every corner, and Italians are on a first-name basis with their trusted barista.