Starbucks opens 10,000-square-metre Reserve Roastery in Chicago

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Chicago, United States, opens its doors to the public on 15 November.

Located on North Michigan Avenue and Erie Street on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, the opening of the Reserve Roastery marks Starbucks’ sixth globally and third in the US. The Chicago roastery joins locations in Seattle, Shanghai, Milan, New York and Tokyo.

Starbucks’ largest-ever “immersive coffee experience” – across five floors and more than 10,000 square metres of retail space – celebrates the company’s heritage. Visitors will be able to see, hear, and learn about coffee’s journey through intentional and unparalleled design, while enjoying a menu featuring beverages exclusive to this location.

“Over the past five years, we have created the ultimate immersive experience around all-things-coffee in spectacular Starbucks Reserve Roasteries in flagship cities around the world,” Starbuck CEO Kevin Johnson says.

“These roasteries amplify the Starbucks brand, serve as innovation hubs, and create experiences for millions of customers around the world.”

Starbucks has a rich history with Chicago, dating back to 1987 when the company opened its first café outside of the Pacific Northwest, had a total of 11 retail stores, and served as the foundation for the company’s national growth strategy. Nearly 32 years later, there are 796 company-operated stores in the region where Starbucks employs more than 18,100 employees. The Reserve Roastery employs nearly 200 people, including roasters, baristas, commessas, bakers, and mixologists.

“The design of the Chicago roastery was inspired by the iconic Chicago landmark, and the city itself,” says Jill Enomoto, Vice President of Roastery Design and Concept for Starbucks.

“We embraced the building’s natural light, married it with shades of classic Starbucks greens and intentionally wove in design features to encourage customer exploration and highlight the love and respect we have for coffee.”

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery Chicago is a working coffee roastery where roasters will be small-batch roasting Starbucks rarest single-origin coffees and blends called Starbucks Reserve. The coffee roasted in Chicago will be served exclusively to visitors of the location, available in handcrafted beverages as well as freshly scooped whole bean coffee.

There are three main coffee bars at the roastery, which in total offer seven brewing methods: espresso, pour over, coffee press, siphon, Chemex, Clover, and cold brewing.

Upon entering, visitors can visit the Starbucks Reserve coffee bar on the main level, where baristas are crafting classic espresso beverages.

The third floor is home to the experiential coffee bar, which provides customers the opportunity to immerse in the art, science, and theatre of coffee. It features elevated brew methods and pairings, as well as specialty roastery creations and brew comparison flights.

The barrel-aged coffee bar is found on the fourth floor and showcases a variety of spirit-free coffee beverages whose beans have been carefully aged in barrels. Here, visitors can explore a menu of cocktail-inspired coffee creations exclusive to the Chicago roastery, including the Smoked Cold Fashioned, a lightly sweetened whiskey barrel-aged cold brew with aromatic bitters, smoked tableside; Minted Cold Brew, whiskey barrel-aged cold brew, shaken with mint syrup and served over pebble ice; and more.

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