For a country that views coffee drinking as a national pastime, the expected arrival of the international unit of Starbucks Coffee Company in Israel is likely to be seen in a positive light. The company announced on Thursday that it had reached an agreement with Israel's Delek Group to form a joint venture to open Starbucks coffee shops throughout the country.

Delek is primarily a fuel company, but also has real estate holdings and an investment firm.

The joint venture will see Starbucks Coffee International and the Shalom Coffee Company joining forces. Both are expected to sign license agreements by the end of April, but no details have been released regarding the number of shops to be opened in Israel.