FIRST CAME Starbucks Reserve™ Roasteries: “immense theatrical shrines to coffee passion…”, and if you’re in Seattle or Shanghai (Milan opening soon), you can enjoy “an experience found nowhere else in the world.” Starbucks Reserve Bars, on the other hand, offer a more intimate small-lot coffee experience. Presently, there are only seven Reserve Bars in California, with one located at the corner of Palm Canyon Drive and Tahquitz Canyon in Palm Springs.
Starbucks has been bucking competition from “Third Wave” coffee brands where the priority is to produce high-quality coffee, and to consider coffee as an artisanal foodstuff, like wine, rather than a commodity. Among other attributes, this involves stronger relationships between coffee growers, traders and roasters, as well as higher quality and fresh roasting, sometimes called “microroasting”.
The Starbucks Reserve bars are turning the ritual of snatching a cuppa coffee into more of an experience. Baristas receive a significant amount of training at Reserve locations. They learn to use the more uncommon brewing equipment, like siphon brewing. They also sell coffee flights and cold-brew floats.
Reserve Bars are spacious and inviting, where customers can gather around long communal tables or settle in at a low, wood-clad bar to watch the baristas as they work.
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