Creating a Digital Experience to Honor the In-store Experience
Seattle is home to the first Starbucks Reserve Roastery. The Roastery is the living manifestation of the Starbucks Reserve brand. It can best be described as the Willie Wonka Chocolate Factory of Starbucks. This is where our team’s process began; drinking excess amounts of espresso, suffering from rapid heart palpitations as a result, and jotting down jittery-lined sketches of all our ideas.
The Roastery is a vibrant and artful place, with curated custom design installations, and expertly crafted coffee drinks. Every corner of the space has something to see, from the giant copper roasting vat to a pop-up shop selling gorgeous coffee merchandise. Between the grandness of the space and the intense levels of caffeine that accompany it, it’s probably one of the most stimulating in-store experiences I’ve ever encountered.
Upon entering the Roastery, our first question was where to begin. This question persisted until finally, someone found a map. With the map in hand, we discovered all sorts of points of interest; custom art installations, a coffee cocktail bar… there was even an entire coffee library inside the building.
Next came the question of what to order. With so many menu options and complex names, the menu felt overwhelming. What is a Bianco Shakerato anyway? Then there was the matter of all the coffee varietals. Our clients had told us that this was the most critical piece of the Starbucks Reserve brand. It was what elevated the Reserve brand above that of ordinary Starbucks. There are 8-12 unique coffee roasts that change seasonally. Frankly, though, they all looked and tasted pretty much the same to us.
All of this left us with much to be solved later in the design.