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The New Starbucks Reserve Roastery Is Basically Willy Wonka’s Coffee Factory


Last week, the internet went completely wild when Starbucks released its tantalizing, whimsical Unicorn Frappucino. Layers of frosty, pink, sugar, broken up by a thinner layer of frosty, sour, blue, sugar, just sweet enough to charm you into posting on Instagram (but too sweet to actually consume). The release has faced a decent dose of backlash and just in time to confront that backlash, Starbucks has announced another equally whimsical, significantly less sweet bit of news.

Some time in 2019, a brand new Starbucks Reserve Roastery will open in Chicago. And let us be the first to tell you, this new Roastery is a super-caffeinated version of Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory with fewer Oopma Loompas and way more beans.

In all seriousness, the Seattle Starbucks Roastery is a mere 15,000 square feet compared to the future Chicago location’s 43,000 and listen to all of the stuff at the Seattle location:

There are beans in clear glass containers everywhere, with roasting machines on site to unleash a barrage of coffee aroma directly into your nose.


Connected to the roasters are transfer tubes (just like the ones that suck up Augustus Gloop but smaller and more magical) to transport the beans to where they belong, and snapshots of every stage of the process, and then some.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BTR4UPEF1wt/?taken-by=ashbueno

There’s a tasting room with an extensive menu that’s exponentially more daunting than the one behind your local barista. You can order a coffee flight, because there’s no way you go to this place only trying one single drink.

The baristas prepare drinks like made scientist mixologists, using advanced pouring methods and sexy deep voices (probably). Plus, they sell all kinds of merchandise AND there’s a restaurant AND there’s a library.


The new Starbucks Reserve Roastery will be the company’s third such location with one already operating successfully in Seattle and the second coming to New York City in 2018. The Chicago location is set to occupy 43,000 square feet across four stories, on the Magnificent Mile along North Michigan Ave. And if it’s anything like the Seattle location, we expect the new Roastery to completely obliterate your mind and liver.

Starbucks says the new Chicago Roastery will be a “fully sensorial coffee environment with roasting, brewing, and packaging of the company’s rare small-batch Starbucks Reserves coffees.” It will also include fresh baking on site courtesy of Italian baker Rocco Prince so you can finally consume a coffee bread bowl, fresh from the oven.

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