After the visit to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai in 2018, the crown of the World’s Largest Starbucks has been handed over to Tokyo in 2019.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo opened its doors on February 28, 2019. Not only it is the first Reserve Roastery in Japan, but it is also the largest of its kind in the world. This four-storey coffee wonderland is a must-visit for all coffee lovers, offering its visitors an exciting Starbucks experience like never before.
Tokyo’s trendy Nakameguro neighborhood is a befitting location for the Reserve Roastery, as it’s one of Tokyo’s best and most famous places for viewing Japan’s iconic cherry blossoms. While there are five other Roasteries (in 2022), Tokyo’s four-storey Reserve Roastery is officially the largest Starbucks in the world!
The first floor is a bakery and café; the second floor is a Teavana tea room; and the third floor is a Arriviamo cocktail bar. The fourth floor factory also has a lounge area and workshop space. There’s also outdoor terrace seating that overlooks the Meguro River, a popular sakura viewing spot and definitely a hotly-contested seat during the season.
In addition to being the first in Japan, it also has the world’s largest Teavana tea bar, and is the first and only Roastery that has been designed and built from the ground up; the exterior was designed in collaboration with Kengo Kuma, a renowned Japanese architect; the entire Roastery’s concept was designed by the Chief Design Officer Liz Muller, who created the design process for Roasteries all over the world.
Your trip to the coffee world starts at the main bar on the first floor, where you can completely immerse yourself in coffee and learn everything about it. In this wide and open area, you can see the whole bean-to-brew process and also sample coffee and coffee-based beverages brewed by master baristas.
Tucked near the staircase at the back is the Princi bakery which serves up freshly baked, authentic, handmade Italian artisan breads like focaccia, as well as pizza and salad. This is Japan’s first Princi, but Japan Starbucks already have outstanding pastries and baked products compared to its counterparts around the world. I am not sure about the Japanese taste for Italian baked goods as they have different texture.
I was looking for a place to do my work before my next appointment nearby, and so I came and order my favourite way of having coffee in Japan – the siphon brew. You sit in front of the barista, see her grind the beans and let you smell the aroma of freshly ground beans, and then watch the slow process of boiling water.
It creates a vacuum and the water gets sucked up to a second canister holding the grounded coffee. The coffee gets brewed while the temperature is maintained at around 95ºC, the ideal temperature for coffee. The flame is removed, the pressure in the bottom flask drops and coffee flows back to the lower canister. What a lovely way to spend an afternoon.
Like the New York and Milan locations, the Tokyo Reserve Roastery’s third floor holds an Arriviamo cocktail bar. This particular bar is actually the first bar to open in Starbucks in Japan. Enjoy alcoholic beverages here on a relaxing weekend or after work with their revolutionary coffee and tea inspired cocktails, wines, and beers!
Definitely worth a detour if you are in that part of the city, and especially during the sakura season. But be warned, this place is really popular so hogging the seats is not advised and the ever-so-polite Japanese will only take the amount of time for their cuppa and vacate the seat for another person to experience the place.
Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo
2-19-23, Aobadai, Meguro-ku, Tokyo
Extra: Wadakura Fountain Park Starbucks
Tokyo is a particularly special place for Starbucks as it was its first international market outside of North America. Starbucks Coffee Japan is constantly churning out delicious drinks and sweets that can only be found in Japan, so it’s not surprising that it has such a large presence here.
Recently, Starbucks Japan has been taking big steps towards reducing waste and minimising its carbon footprint with its returnable tumbler system and offering food at a discount before closing time. Now, the coffee giant has opened a brand new Greener Store – the first one in Japan and only the second location outside of North America. The new coffee shop follows the company’s Greener Store Framework, with the aim of lowering carbon emissions, water usage and landfill waste by 50 percent in 2030.
The new Wadakura Fountain Park Starbucks sits in the outer gardens of the Tokyo Imperial Palace and opened on 1 December 2021. The store has been designed to generate 40 percent less waste, 30 percent less carbon emissions, and consume 20 percent less water than other Starbucks locations in Japan.
The interior is also focused on sustainability – the floor features tiling made from coffee grounds, while the furniture is refurbished for a unique aesthetic. The artwork around the store is also made from repurposed materials such as recycled canvas and fishing nets.
While you are there, enjoy the tranquility of the park as well as the surrounding areas, which is absolutely beautiful in falls.
Visited Nov 2022