Starbucks Opens Reserve Roastery in Tokyo
Paying tribute to the important role that Starbucks Japan has played in shaping the foundation of the company’s international growth, Starbucks opened its newest Reserve Roastery – and fifth globally – in Tokyo, Japan today. The four-story Roastery celebrates the Japanese culture of connection and craftsmanship while introducing customers to more than 100 unique coffee beverages and, tea beverages at the world’s largest Teavana Bar, and merchandise as well as a menu of artisanal Princi Italian fare for the first time in Japan.
“As the first international market outside of North America, Starbucks Japan has contributed 23 years of innovation for the company globally,” said Kevin Johnson, CEO, Starbucks Coffee Company, Seattle, Washington. “The opening of the Tokyo Roastery will further amplify what Starbucks Japan has done across all stores in the market for more than two decades — innovating and delivering the finest quality coffee one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time.”
Takafumi Minaguchi, CEO, Starbucks Japan, added, “The Roastery will amplify and inspire coffee passion across all Starbucks stores, and will serve as a catalyst for a new wave of growth centered on the customer experience and passion for coffee and service. Beginning with the “Make it Yours” campaign that will commence at every store in Japan upon the opening of the Roastery, customers will be invited to experience the first Starbucks coffee roasted exclusively in Tokyo, for Japan, and available in a variety of coffee beverage styles.”
Located in Tokyo’s vibrant and creative neighbourhood of Nakameguro, the Roastery’s design was inspired by the famous cherry blossom trees lining the Meguro River. The building’s glass walls and terraced floors fold into the fabric of the neighbourhood, bringing visitors eye-level with the seasonal cherry blossoms and the river to reflect the natural beauty and sense of harmony found across Japan.
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. Envisioned by Liz Muller, Starbucks chief design officer and lead designer for all five Roasteries globally, the Roastery highlights the work of local craftsmen and women to create an enchanting destination for coffee exploration and discovery. The Tokyo Roastery merges traditional and modern design to deliver a unique and inspired experience across all four floors.
Upon entering the Roastery, customers are greeted by the world’s largest Starbucks Roastery coffee cask, four stories and more than 55 feet of blush-tinted copper adorned with hand-crafted copper cherry blossoms, which changes hues throughout the day in different lights. The expansive cask was built using the technique of tsuchime, a tradition of copper beating, where 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 colour is balanced against the light wood which has been carried into the interior to give the store a brightness found throughout traditional Japanese architecture.
Throughout the Roastery, local craftsmen and women 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. The light and airy space carries the light wood used on the exterior to the inside, giving the experience an enchanting aura. The wood, sourced locally, has been treated throughout with a traditional technique which prevents it from aging, ensuring the brightness is maintained inside and outside in the years to come.
The coffee journey at the Reserve Roastery Tokyo is an immersive experience and education in coffee, and its process — from green bean to cup, which begins at the Main Bar on the first floor. The open floor plan draws customers into the experience, introducing them to the art of roasting, brewing and hand-crafting beverages. Customers can also enjoy Tokyo Roast coffee, a Starbucks Japan-exclusive coffee, that is available throughout the market on opening day. On the first floor, customers can taste Reserve coffee beverages such as Barrel-Aged Cold Brew. The Princi bakery serves handcrafted, authentic artisanal Italian fare that is prepared fresh in the Roastery throughout the day. For the first time in Japan, customers can enjoy freshly baked breads, cornetti, focaccias, pizzas, salads and more.
An airy staircase leads to the second floor, where customers will be transported into the tradition of Japanese tea at the world’s largest Teavana Bar. Exclusive tea beverages, such as the Pop’n Tea Sakura Jasmine, featuring a vibrant hibiscus and cherry popsicle atop a floral jasmine tea, will delight customers with their charming appearance, Japanese ingredients and unique flavour combinations, modernizing the tea experience.
On the terraced third floor, Starbucks Japan’s first cocktail bar, Arriviamo, puts innovation, mixology and cocktail craft on full display. The two walls of spirits bring together the Arriviamo menu, featuring coffee and tea-inspired cocktails only available at the Tokyo Roastery, including the Nakameguro Espresso Martini, made with chestnut liqueur, crème de cacao and espresso, then paired with decadent chocolate from Nakameguro’s brand. Wine, beer and classic mixology beverages are also be available.
Starbucks Japan has more than two decades contributing to the communities it serves. The fourth floor of the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo is home to AMU Inspiration Lounge – a dedicated space for the community to gather for hosted social impact conversations. The concept of amu, which means “to knit together” in Japanese, is founded on human connection and passions coming together, something Starbucks has long believed in. For the first time at any Starbucks location in the world, this intimate space will serve as a platform to host change-makers and creative thinkers from across Japan. The first event in April will celebrate the role of women leaders in Japan.
The Roastery is planning to become Starbucks first certified Specialty Coffee Association (SCA) location, offering training for coffee professionals in the near future.
“We believe that where passions connect, the future is sparked, and we will offer the Tokyo Roastery as a gathering space to spark new ideas and create an impact,” said Minaguchi. “The Roastery signifies our commitment to fostering moments of human connection over a cup of coffee and using these moments to create positive social impact in the communities we serve.”