Opened at the end of February, the new-look Starbucks Reserve store, in its home city of Seattle, shows the lengths that purveyors of warm beverages are prepared to go to in order to create ‘premium’ experiences for their customers.
This one feels like an outsize and very upscale chalet of the kind that might be found up a mountain in somewhere like Verbier or perhaps Vail, Colorado.
This translates as a mid-shop fireplace with a burnished metal flue, simple mid-century-style furniture and dark metal and slate.
The coffee servery itself has wooden stools, allowing customers to sit at the long dark wood counter.
And if a snack is required to go with the skinny latte (definitely not ‘to go’) there’s an in-store outpost of Milan baker Princi, where customers can watch breads and pastries being made before heading off for another hot drink.
There has been something of an arms race in terms of improving the interiors of coffee shops, and this one takes on the indies and to a large degree beats them at their own game.