Hours: 7 am – 11 pm
Power: Some along the wall
Conducive for work?: Not as of right now – it’s quite a tourist attraction
Price: Higher than your regular Starbucks (a tall latte will set you back by ~$4)
Contact: 1124 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101, United States, (206) 624 0173
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery opened up on Pike (some nine blocks from the original Starbucks) to great fanfare in early December. Lines of tourists, and other curious caffeine addicts snaked around the block for most of the day. As a nocturnal, thankfully, the line was manageable in the late evening (after 8.30 pm). In more recent times, the madness has died down, and it’s possible to get in without standing in line.
The Roastery is massive. Small-batch beans of diverse origins are roasted on the premises, alike some of its competitors a couple of steps away. A slight difference is that you can observe the machines at work, and talk to some of the staff working at the roasters, or enjoy watching the conveyor belt of beans being sent for packing. During the day, there are also coffee demonstration. They advertise the roastery as an interactive coffee experience.
Aside from learning how the coffee gets to your cup, one of the key attractions of the Roastery is the variety of coffee available. They have a rotation of about four different types of coffee (including their pantheon blend, which is unique to the Roastery), which you can choose from for your espresso drinks, or you can choose to sample these coffees using different brewing methods (e.g. clover, pour over, press, et. al). I’d highly recommend taking another coffee aficionado for your first visit, so you may sample the coffee flight (three different types of coffees, or one type of coffee with three brewing methods, ~$18)
Does it taste better? Yes. The Roastery does offer an excellent description of the character of their seasonal coffees, and their coffees have some interesting flavor profiles. I tried the Colombian blend in the form of a latte, the Pantheon as a pour over, latte, and espresso soda (~$4 each for a tall).
Currently, it’s not a bad place to read a book for a little while, but as of right now, it’s probably not your cosy cafe, where you’ll set up camp, and work for a couple of hours. There’s a lot of traffic, and if you are at one of the window seats by the counter, be prepared to be in a lot of tourists/curious onlookers’ photos.
Roasting equipment at Starbucks Reserve Roastery
Baristas in the middle of the Roastery
Pantheon Blend Espresso Soda