Starbucks Express Is Now Open in NYC, And Here Are Five Ways It's Different Than Traditional Starbucks

If you love going to Starbucks to get your caffeine fix, but hate the long lines and wait times, you're going to love what the popular coffee chain has up its sleeve. Starbucks has opened the first Starbucks Express location today, which is designed to bring your favorite beverages even faster for on-the-go customers. The pilot store is located at 14 Wall Street, across the street from the New York Stock Exchange, but should have four more active locations open across New York City by the end of 2015.

Now, for those of you who like to sit in Starbucks and work, write, or conduct meetings, there's no need to fret, since this new format is not going to replace traditional Starbucks locations. Starbucks' Vice President of Design Bill Sleeth spoke on this issue, saying, “You wouldn’t use this express format to replace a café store, you’d use it in places where there’s a commuter path where you know customers want to get that quick hit." That's exactly why the Wall Street location for the first express store was chosen, since it is close to the PATH train that takes commuters from New York to New Jersey, in the middle of a huge financial district, and also close to the Fulton Center.

“This location on Wall Street was intentionally designed to take what’s at the heart of our cafés and distill that for a smaller space,” said Sleeth in the official press release.

Wondering how Starbucks Express will differ from traditional Starbucks locations? Here are five things to know about it all.

1. How You Order

Inside of the Starbucks Express, you'll be greeted at the door by a barista who will give you a handheld device on which to place your order. This mobile method of ordering is expected to save a lot of time, since having to walk to the front of the store and stand in line to order can take ages. By the time you actually reach the register, your drink will already be in the process of being made.

2. What You Can Order

No blended beverages like Frappuccinos are available to order at the express location. This is also a provision created to save time, since these drinks take the longest to prepare. If you're craving a blended drink, you'll have to get your fix at a traditional Starbucks location.

3. The Space Is Smaller

The store is only just above 500 square feet, so it's been designed to be compact and efficient. There is a straight path you can take from the entry, to paying and getting your drink at the bar, to the exit door, making getting in and out a lot faster. The design of the drink preparation space has also been made to be more open, so that the baristas can have more interaction with customers.

4. The Menu Has Changed

Instead of the menu being located behind the baristas, it's in digital format on screens on the right-hand side of the wall. The menu has also been modified specifically to serve New York customers, so you can expect it to be a bit different than the menu at the traditional Starbucks. There's no word specifically on what exactly that modification means; I suspect, however, that it's likely to be based on the drinks New Yorkers order the most.

5. There Are No Places to Sit

As it's an express location, there are no tables and chairs — so no, you can't cheat and use the express location as a workspace. This will probably ensure better flow and make it very efficient for those popping in and out, since the crowded nature of the traditional stores can often make it feel congested.

If you're in NYC and want to see the Starbucks Express for yourself, stop by 14 Wall Street and check it out!

Images: rekre89/Flickr; Starbucks (5)