Last night a couple of coworkers and I drifted out to what was described to me as a “Willy Wonka and the Coffee Factory” type experience. A quick drive over the bridge into Seattle brought us to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room. It is definitely an “experience” to try if you’re a coffee junkie.
We went about 9:30 at night, which apparently was a good thing because the last time my coworker went the line was out the door and then some. When you go in there is a great smell of coffee and a somewhat “overwhelming” site to behold. If you’ve been to a brewery you’ll see those large silos of beer and ingredients, but this time they have coffee beans. From what we were told, some of the beans are roasted on site (they have two machines for that) and then they travel through a pneumatic tube (or conveyer in other places) into the main “station” where things are brewed.
We were presented with a “menu” which had about 4 different flavors for the day as well as a plethora of options on how we can get our coffee. You can get it through the premium “Clover” machine, you can have it french pressed, vacuum extracted, or the “Melita” pour over method. It was a little odd at first. It feels a bit like a fancy wine or beer tasting place, but I’m just looking for coffee. There are high end coffee makers and mugs available too (one maker was wrapped in wool or something, crazy!)
After I settled down with a clover brewed coffee (the name of the bean escapes me) and my coworkers sat down with a pair of espresso offerings and a “coffee over ice with a hint of mint” drink, we started to talk and relax a bit more and that’s when we really started to enjoy ourselves. It was a amazing to see all of the stuff they had there and everything from the chairs to the trays were rather nice and high quality. We shared our coffee drinks (much like you would if you were beer or wine tasting) and definitely had a tasting experience.
It’s definitely not a place you’re going to when you’re running off to work, but for a late evening gathering with some friends, it was a very nice experience and something I’d like to do again. There was no “burnt” coffee taste here and some flavor combinations that definitely didn’t sound good, but tasted wonderful. If you’re a coffee junkie, give it a whirl sometime!