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Hands-on: Inside the most advanced Starbucks in Europe

Earlier this week we went to a one-of-a-kind Starbucks concept store, where we went hands and lips-on with the brand’s latest experience.

Location

Starbucks Reserve neon logo

At the time of writing there is only one Starbucks Reserve location in the whole of Europe and it’s situated on Upper St Martin’s Lane, in the heart of London theatre scene near the West End. Open as of October 21st, Starbucks has built a new store experience that takes everything you know from a traditional location and ups the collective experience threefold.

Design

Starbucks Reserve indoor press shot

Whist Starbuck’s hasn’t lifted the Apple Store aesthetic directly, there is a certain precision to the glass-fronted design, the establishment’s open plan seating, the absence of tills or payment terminals and the open ‘arena-style’ coffee bar.

Food & drink

For coffee connoisseurs, even those who aren’t fans of Starbuck’s traditional roasts, the coffee served here can collectively be considered a calibre above that of what customers will likely be used to from the chain’s standard outlets; with batch runs of select beans from markets as varied as Tanzania and Vietnam.

You can also choose from a myriad of brewing methods that tread the line between coffee making and scientific experimentation, but staff are on hand to explain the benefits of each unique method, should you feel as bewildered as we did when first presented with them. There are also a host of exclusive drinks on the menu like sparkling espresso with mint and Piccino.

The Starbucks Reserve’s location is no accident either, with the store opening up to serving light bites such as freshly-made flatbreads, wraps and between 4pm and 9pm, beer and wine to accommodate theatre-goers.

Technology

The lack of tills is countered by customer’s ability to place an order with any staff member handling a touchpad terminal and those looking to get work done can leverage free high-speed WiFi connectivity grounded by a 100Mbps connection speed.

Starbucks Reserve staff payment terminal
Not quite as elegant as an iPad, but at least it ensures you get your coffee.

Powermat 1 Powermat 2

Starbucks has naturally continued its partnership with Powermat too, so you can connect any device that sports an Apple 30-pin/Lightning connector or microUSB connector to charge it wirelessly using the tabletop charging points free of charge.

Starbucks Reserve is now open and we’d recommend checking out this wholly unique coffee bar experience if you’re in the area.

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