Today the Associated Press reported that Starbucks entered the Brazilian market with two cafés in São Paulo: Starbucks enters competitive Brazilian coffee market with 2 Sao Paulo stores – Business – International Herald Tribune.

Starbucks demonstrated success at establishing over 100 cafés in Mexico, which is generally not known as a coffee-drinking (let alone espresso-drinking) nation. However, Brazil, second only to the U.S. in the sheer number of regular coffee drinkers, is an entirely different story. As with their compatriots in the sibling nation of Portugal, Brazilians participate in a ritualistic, daily regimen of espresso shots as part of the culture. Also as in Portugal, the average cost of an espresso in Brazil is around 60-70¢ (U.S.) per cup. Starbucks plans to charge its new Brazilian customers almost twice that.

Brazil represents a huge, youthful new market for Starbucks. And to a degree, the extra costs might not deter some aspirational Brazilians seeking a more cosmopolitan image (yes, I hate to use such inane marketingspeak, but your café can be an expression of your lifestyle). But knowing the quality of the espresso in Brazil — unlike many Mexicans who had no prior comparisons — Starbucks has their work cut out for them.