We’re so buzzed! And it’s not just due to the coffee.
Last month we hosted media at an exclusive preview event to mark the launch of the new Starbucks Reserve Store, the first of its kind in Europe.
In the heart of Soho, opposite the exclusive Ivy Club, stands a glass-fronted building. Is it a bar? Is it a restaurant? Is it a members club? It’s actually all three - and more. It’s a Reserve store: Starbucks in a mode that you’ve never seen before.
This was my first Starbucks media event, so it was particularly exciting for me. With journalists attending from top publications across the consumer, tech, design, food and drinks publications, as well as national press, I couldn’t wait for the ‘show’ to begin.
The first thing that caught my eye was the large electronic screen displaying the new selection of exclusive drinks. The menu includes the incredible Sparkling Mint Espresso and my personal favourite, the Americano Con Crema which is a smoother, sweeter update of the classic Americano coffee. The menu is served throughout the evening, so I got the chance to try the new wines on offer. The Charles Smith Riesling, from Washington State where Starbucks was born, was my favourite as it’s perfectly crisp and dry. There’s also a selection of London-brewed craft beers, which we washed down with a cheese platter and some juicy Spanish olives. My favourite dish on the hot food menu had to be the rich and creamy Truffle Mac and Cheese, which has the perfect hint of truffle and is true comfort food.
The variety of new products on display are really interesting; I found the coffee syphon particularly enchanting because it looks like a Bunsen burner and uses a vacuum technique to create a deliciously pure cup of coffee – although it does take six minutes to brew!
I found the overall atmosphere relaxed but with a lively buzz. The whole combination of what you see, smell and hear makes it an exciting new place to hang out. And with the fastest Wi-Fi on the high street it’s also a good spot if you need to catch up on some work!
Described by the Guardian as “a cross between a private club and a chemistry lab” it is well worth a visit.