What It's Like To Go To Starbucks In Russia

One of the most hospitable experiences I’ve ever had took place in a Moscow Starbucks.

It was a hot, humid day in July, and cold caffeinated beverages were calling my name. I copped out on having a uniquely Russian experience in a small family-owned coffee shop and fell into a Starbucks instead.

I ended up having a uniquely Russian experience anyway, drinking and socializing with the employees!

There's the familiar logo. It's a welcome symbol of refreshing drinks on such a muggy day.

Heading inside, I was greeted by the usual thrum of activity you'd expect in an urban Starbucks.

In-store merchandising, of course.

There are books to read and boardgames to play while you drink your beverage. The only English title I could find was 'Radio Receiver Theory.'

There's free WiFi for your Internet browsing pleasure. But let's order a drink!

I got an iced latte to fight the heat. They managed to spell my name more correctly than any Starbucks ever has in America.

The total came to 240 RUB, about $US7.25 US (a little steep if you ask me).

The next time I looked up, I was the only customer in the whole joint. Surreal.

The employees sat with me and walked me through a coffee tasting. There was even chocolate! I stumbled through one of the only Russian phrases I know: 'Vy ochen milaya!' or 'You are very nice!'

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