This is the story of a Starbucks that is unique in the world

The most emblematic place of one of the most famous coffee brands in the world is in the 1912 Pike Street in downtown Seattle, in a space of 300 square meters.

Starbucks boasts of being the first store but is not. The first opened a few meters away in 1971, although it was demolished a few years later. Hence, it was relocated to this room, which has a plaque in it that designates it as the first branch, which makes it one of the main attractions of the city.

This is the story of a Starbucks that is unique in the world
This is the story of a Starbucks that is unique in the world

This little place is full of boxes with the mermaid logo on them. It doesn’t have any chairs or tables or a food bar, however, but it has a strong smell of coffee and not only retains the essence of the place that gave birth to a brand that has more than 22,000 stores in 60 countries.

Seattle is a city that can be defined Rain, grunge and coffee. The hotel is located in the northwest of the USA and protects its residents from cool temperatures, permanent gray skies and light drizzle. This is also where the musical legends of Nirvana and Pearl Jam originated.

His dozen of downtown cafes show his fondness for the bean, especially on Pike Street. If you walk there from the start 10th avenue, you will find it nine Starbucks and at least 10 local cafes.

Pike begins just 100 meters from the harbor where the large ships that come in through Puget Strait arrive and gives its name to Pike Place Market, an internationally renowned seafood, foreign object and sales market.

This is the context that surrounds the story of StarbucksThe Howard Schultz Company joined as an employee in 1982 when there were only five stores and now pays off with him as CEO $ 7.4 billionand is not only the sixth fastest growing brand in the world.

From this place, the essence of a cafeteria, like the ships that surround it, sails into the world now using its expansion to collect cereal flavors from the five continents and give them the touch of their brand.

Image: Javier Rodríguez / High Level

Grain hunter

Howard Schultz Account in your book The Starbucks Challenge Initially, the original owners of the cafeteria wanted to create a coffee connoisseur experience and attract newbies by selling beans they had collected from various locations. After a trip to Italy in 1983, the businessman suggested selling latte coffee with the beans from the store and thus took the first steps.

That experience was the first in a series of revolutions that all came from Seattle, particularly Pike Street.

In 2014 he started another adventure on the same street, but under number 1124, inspired by his origins and whose taste should be improved. 10 blocks from “first store,” the company opened the first Starbucks Reserve, Roastery Tasting Room, a place where coffee lovers can taste the beans the brand has collected around the world.

With the beans collected, the company provides its experts with more than 250,000 cups of coffee per year to select the new reserves. Some of them, like Paradeisi (a mix of grains from Colombia, Uganda, and Papua New Guinea), can only be sampled at this huge place. If the first branch stands out for its simplicity, then this one will surprise you with its size and huge toasters.

“We are a city with ports where we have access to coffee from all over the world. We sell too many types of coffee, ”said Lincoln Becharn, a 24-year-old barista trainer at Starbucks Reserve, in an interview with Alto Nivel.

Lincoln tried his first cup Mocha coffee at the age of sevenand assured that it was with grain from his current company. “Seattle must have thousands of baristas, and many of them are at Starbucks. Working here is very common,” he says.

On the shelves of this store you can find coffee from Colombia for $ 80 a pound (it’s the most expensive), from Costa Rica for $ 26, from Mexico (Chiapas and Oaxaca) for $ 26 and $ 40, and from other countries places like Vietnam, Rwanda, Ethiopia and more. In 2015 the store had coffee from 50 countries and this year they have 75 beans.

“The trend is for the food industry in general to try to get to the place of origin of the product, not, as before, to a central location in the country where the product was stored and distributed from there to the world. Now we’re going to that Regions, ”says Becharn.

Image: Javier Rodríguez / High Level

The Starbucks ‘School’

Starbucks Reserve combines the company’s original idea of ​​satisfying coffee connoisseurs with the experience of consuming the drink prepared on site. This way, when you consume a product, you can turn to the baristas so they can tell you everything Coffee processFrom the type of cultivation, the country of origin of the grain and the techniques for sieving to the methods for protecting the environment.

The store has an approximate of 2,000 customers per day from Monday to Friday and 6,000 on the weekend. In addition to selling grain, souvenirs, food and prepared drinks, roasting is also done here 1.4 million pounds of coffee a year that supplies the 2,000 reserve stores around the world.

You will not find a store with these characteristics in any other country. However, the company is currently preparing to open another reserve roaster China, a country with which Seattle is closely connected thanks to its ports and flight connections.

In Mexico, you can try some of the cafeteria choices at the three existing reserve branches, one in Forests Arch, another in Masaryk and one last in the Moliere Iron Palace. (The brand has 538 stores in the 52 Cities of the country).

Lincoln Becharn assures that since the company’s expansion, Seattle residents have linked their lives very closely with coffee. “My first job was in a cafeteria in front of my house. I’ve loved coffee since I was a child ”.

“We’re a brand that enables people to have coffee, have a real conversation, and share human stories. This is our essence. It’s a place where a lot of people come and you meet people. I saw a couple arrive on their first date, then when they were engaged, and then they arrived with their first baby. I’ve seen their entire relationship go by at a Starbucks. “

Image: Javier Rodríguez / High Level

Text originally published for High level.

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