Whole Latte Shakin'

In the U.S., hardly anyone under 25 refers to "one-horse towns" anymore. Oh, these small, boring places still exist. But these days they're called something else: "one-Starbucks towns," in a nod to the ubiquitous gourmet coffee chain that is both American cultural icon and international retailing phenomenon.

Now, Continental Europeans can see for themselves what all the fuss is about. Though Starbucks has been in Britain since 1998, it steamed into Zurich last month with the first of 50-plus outlets planned for Switzerland. With its multicultural and multilingual population, the country provides a "tremendous opportunity to learn how...