Starbucks opened its fifth Reserve Roastery unit globally, the first in Tokyo. The four-story roastery serves to connect the brand to Japan, the first Reserve Roastery expansion outside of North America.
The Roastery’s design was inspired by the famous cherry blossom trees lining the Meguro River. The building’s glass walls and terraced floors mesh with the fabric of the neighborhood, bringing visitors eye-level with the cherry blossoms and the four seasons of the river to reflect its natural beauty and a sense of harmony.
The Tokyo Roastery is the only Starbucks Roastery location designed in collaboration with a local architect from the ground up. The exterior was brought to life in collaboration with renowned Japanese architect Kengo Kuma. As envisioned by Liz Muller, Starbucks chief design officer and lead designer for all five Roasteries globally, the Tokyo Roastery highlights the work of local craftspeople to create a destination for coffee exploration and discovery.
The world’s largest Starbucks Roastery coffee cask greets customer when they enter the store. It soars four stories — more than 55 feet — and features blush-tinted copper adorned with hand-crafted copper cherry blossoms. The expansive cask was built using the technique of tsuchime, a tradition of copper beating. Each person involved in the building of the Roastery was offered the chance to hammer a portion to create its texture and pattern. The cask’s unique color balances against the light wood that carries through the interior space to give the store a brightness found throughout traditional Japanese architecture.
Throughout the Roastery, local craftspeople were brought together to incorporate their expertise and traditional craft into the design elements. The wood-tiled ceiling was inspired by the art of origami, providing a stunning visual. The wood, sourced locally, has been treated throughout with a traditional technique that prevents it from aging, ensuring the brightness remains in the years to come.
The Reserve Roastery brand is meant to create an immersive coffee experience and educate visitors on how coffee is made — from green bean to cup — which begins at the main bar on the first floor. The open floor plan enables visitors to view everything from the roasting and brewing process to the handcrafting of beverages. The Princi bakery on the first floor offers fresh-baked bread throughout the day.
A staircase leads to the second floor, where customers are transported into the tradition of Japanese tea at the world’s largest Teavana Bar. Exclusive tea beverages include a Pop’n Tea Sakura Jasmine featuring a hibiscus and cherry popsicle atop a floral jasmine tea.
On the terraced third floor, guests can enjoy cocktails at Arriviamo, Starbucks Japan’s first cocktail bar. The menu features coffee and tea-inspired cocktails only available at the Tokyo Roastery, along with wine, beer and classic cocktails.
The fourth floor is home to AMU Inspiration Lounge — a dedicated space for the community to gather for hosted social impact conversations. The concept comes from the Japanese word Amu, which means “to knit together”, and builds on human connection and passions coming together. Starbucks will host change-makers and creative thinkers from across Japan. The first event in April will celebrate the role of women leaders in Japan. Starbucks intends for the Tokyo Roastery to also become its first certified Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) location that will offer training for coffee professionals.
Starbucks has 1,400 stores across Japan.