Starbucks is legendary for more than the popular PSL. Since they opened in Seattle in 1971, Starbucks has expanded across the globe, curbing caffeine cravings across the U.S. and even filtering into Japan and Europe. Of course, this espresso-fueled ride never stops, and Starbucks is officially hitting the gas on their most ambitious project ever.
Chicago’s very own Starbucks Reserve Roastery is the largest Starbucks in the world at a whopping 35,000 square feet, and we got a sneak peek!
The Rundown on the Roastery
On Friday, November 15, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery opens its doors. And once you cross the Roastery’s threshold, you’re in a totally different world.The aroma of coffee swells like music, and everywhere you look there’s something delectable just calling your name.
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery boasts four floors and a rooftop. You can choose from three coffee bars (and one bar bar) and seven unique brewing methods including espresso, pour-over, coffee press, siphon, Chemex, Clover and cold brewing. (I tried the Clover and let me tell ya—you’ll be begging for more than one mug.) The coffee is roasted by Starbucks’ Coffee Masters, who are the go to’s for any questions, from bean origins to smoothest sipper.
Inside you’ll find stunning feats of architecture, murals and the Roastery’s centerpiece: a 56-foot roasting cast. The cast allows you to see all of Starbucks’ process in action and doubles as a vehicle to get beans where they need to go via long pipes that run across the ceiling.
Starbucks Reserve Coffee Bar
You’ll find all of your classic beverages, like lattes, cappuccinos and cortados on the main bar’s first floor. Before you order that PSL, you should know the Starbucks Reserve Roastery doesn’t serve the typical Starbucks menu. The sweet drinks you’re used to will be available at other neighborhood stores, but this one is reserved (no pun intended) for people who enjoy more traditional espresso drinks.
On the second floor, you’ll find Princi, the prize of the Starbucks Reserve Roastery. Founded by Italian baker Rocco Princi, the bakery and cafe offers fresh breads, cornetti and focaccia. You can also find your fill of cakes and tarts there, too.
Need to grab your meal and get out the door? Princi has a conveyer belt that delivers your order to the first floor for you. The Starbucks Reserve Roastery is all about luxury and experience, so there’s no hiking stairs or needless elevator rides involved.
Experiential Coffee Bar
If you’re craving the classic experience of coffee, look no further than the Experiential Coffee Bar. This coffee bar is where you’ll find most of your unique brewing methods, like siphon—a vacuum-style brewing method. You can also purchase flights of your favorites paired with delicious chocolates and savory goodies in this area. This bar also serves Roastery creations you won’t find anywhere else, so if you can only get to one bar, make sure it’s this one.
Barrel-Aged Coffee Bar
The fourth floor literally takes coffee to the next level, combining your favorite rich flavors with a special barrel-aging brewing method. Enjoy a spirit-free coffee beverage made the way whiskey is, aged to perfection in barrels. This bar features classic cocktail copycats, like the Smoked Cold Fashioned or Minted Cold Brew.
Arriviamo Cocktail Bar
The 4th floor Arriviamo serves hand-crafted, alcoholic cocktails made by local mixologists. The menu includes your bar go-to’s as well as some local beers and wines. What sets this bar apart from others you might find downtown is that the specialty cocktails contain Starbucks Reserve coffee and tea, giving your caffeine boost an extra, well, boost.
The Starbucks Reserve Roastery is definitely an attraction you’ll want to check out. It officially opens on November 15 at 9 a.m., so be at the doors ASAP. Besides, where else are you going to get your hands on coffee this good?