Everybody knows Starbucks; we have our favorite drinks, we know the nearest locations, and we just might have a preferred barista. But the coffee giant is trying to shake off its high-volume, fast-food-like reputation with it’s newly opened Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room.
Starbucks Reserve is located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, just a few blocks from the first Starbucks store. But don’t confuse this location with your typical siren-branded coffee stop — Reserve is drastically different coffee experience. The 15,000-square-foot, muti-level location was Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s attempt to create the “Willy Wonka of coffee” — and he just might have succeeded. Reserve houses two coffee bars, a coffee roastery, a scooping bar, a coffee library, a retail store and, weirdly, an artisanal pizza restaurant. The location even offers coffee information sessions and classes on tasting, brewing, and pairing coffees. Throughout the store there are pipelines connecting the roastery to the coffee bars, where you can see and hear coffee whooshing by as you place your order or shop for fancy coffee paraphernalia at the retail store. The location is so large that parts of it can even be rented for corporate or private events.
Reserve aims to lure coffee aficionados who might otherwise never step into a Starbucks location. The coffee sold here is much more high-end and expensive than you typical roast; a 32-ounce coffee can cost you as much as $8, and a pound of beans are sold for as much as $45. The classic green siren logo has even disappeared from Reserve, replaced by a star and capital R logo. This upheaval of the standard Starbucks experience is meant to be a testament to the company’s love of coffee. Reserve romances the coffee experience, and turns your coffee run into a show, where you can watch your beans come from the roasters, be pressed and prepared, and finally become your drink.
Reserve opened last Friday, so
we still don’t know how Seattle natives who already have their favorite coffee
shops and caffeine-seeking routines will receive the coffee emporium. However,
Starbucks is optimistic about the future of Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, and plans to expand the sub-brand to
major cities like Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles. And if Starbuck's past success is any indication, Reserve will surely be a hit.
Images: Starbucks Coffee / YouTube