A peek inside Starbucks' first Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room

| by Brenda Rick Smith

Starbucks Coffee Company opened its first Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle on Dec. 4, just nine blocks away from its original store in Pike Place Market.

All of Starbucks' Reserve small-lot coffee line will be roasted at the facility for sale in 1,500 locations globally, including 100 new Reserve stores.  A projected 1.4 million pounds of small lot coffee will be roasted in the first year at the Roastery, doubling current production rates.

An additional Roastery is planned for Asia in 2016.

"This Roastery is the fulfillment of a decade-long dream – an homage to our relentless pursuit of coffee innovation that will create for our customers the most immersive, sensory demonstration of how we source, roast and craft the finest coffee from around the world," said Howard Schultz, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Starbucks. "Everything we've ever done has led us to this point. This is the moment of the next generation of Starbucks."

Roastery highlights:

  • The Roastery is 15,000 square feet with 6,654 square feet devoted to the Starbucks Café and Tasting Room designed to have 360 degree views from any vantage point within the space.
  • The building dates back to 1920, which was originally part of the historic "Auto Row" of Seattle. Starbucks restored it back to its original façade working to reclaim many of the original building's materials, including wood in the decorative ceiling and original Terrazzo and concrete flooring – 95% of the materials and finished pieces used for the Roastery are made in America.
  • Coffees will be roasted on one of two roasters—the Probat G-120 Roaster and the Probat P25 Roaster. Freshly roasted beans will be delivered to a whole bean scooping table or a custom made bar where baristas will brew handcrafted beverages on one of six brewing methods including: Pour Over, Chemex, French Press, Siphon, Espresso and Clover-brewed coffee.
  • Starbucks teamed up with Seattle chef, Tom Douglas, to create unique food offerings inspired by Starbucks Reserve coffees and Pike Place Market.
  • The Roastery integrates digital innovation into the experience including a "Clacker" board with mechanical flaps displaying what's roasting and by whom; a Coffee Passion Projection Wall made of smart glass displaying images of coffee at origin on the company's own farm in Costa Rica; and in the coming year, will debut iBeacon technology that allows customers to access information about freshly brewed coffee via their smart phone.   

Topics: Coffee / Specialty Beverages, Food & Beverage, Franchising & Growth

Companies: Starbucks

Brenda Rick Smith
Brenda has more than 20 years of experience as a marketing and public relations professional. She invested most of her career telling the story of entrepreneurial non-profit organizations, particularly through social media. wwwView Brenda Rick Smith's profile on LinkedIn

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