May 27, 2015

Starbucks Reserve: more elevated than normal coffee experience

I am in no way a coffee connoisseur but I am for sure a coffee lover/drinker. I’ve tried several times to break up with coffee since stress mixed with caffeine isn’t good for me because it gives me acid reflux. But no... I can’t and I probably won’t break up with coffee; I need it to stay awake while working and besides good conversations most of the time, happens over coffee.

A couple of my officemates share the same infatuation with coffee like I do and since third wave coffee shops have been sprouting around the metro; the curiosity got into us and we decided to or rather, plan to try some of them to see what’s the difference with what they have to offer from those that are brewed by mainstream cafes.


Starbucks, the biggest coffee chain in the world, of course wouldn’t allow to be left off the bandwagon and like always they come up with something for coffee lovers to talk and get excited about. This is where the birth of Starbucks Reserve. Starbucks Reserve is a line of exotic, (kind of) rare, and exquisite coffee sourced from the best coffee beans around the world. It used to be only available abroad but a few of months ago it was launched on the shores of the Philippines but only a couple of branches so far:  Tomas Morato,  Burgos Circle (BGC), Eight Forbes Town (BGC), Keyland Center (near Makati Medical Center), Starbucks Reserve Central Square (BGC High Street) and Signa (Corner Valero & Rufino Sts., Makati).

We visited the one in Global City Fort Bonifacio after having a hearty smokeless grill dinner buffet last Memorial Day Weekend. We couldn’t find it at first because you will only spot that a branch offers the Reserve line when you see the word “reserve” written on the door entrance of a certain branch. It does look like your regular Starbucks store from the outside, but indoors you will notice a more upscale, vintage, rustic and minimalist interior.

The Starbucks Reserve line actually caters a couple of varieties but not all branches have them all at once because the coffee beans are rare, only a limited amount and flavors are available in each Reserve store. They also change regularly depending on what is available, according to the coffee masters/baristas. During our visit, what were available were: Colombia Montebonito, Sun-Dried Ethiopia Konga, Kenya Sangana and East Timor Ermera.

The way they brew these rare and exotic beans is also different from the one that we’re familiar with. With the Reserve line, the coffee are brewed fresh, by the cup using the pour-over coffee cone filters which actually takes longer than if you’re using an espresso machine. You can even actually watch them creating your coffee and have a chit chat with the coffee masters (which is what I did to get some info for this blog post).

Since I like a strong nutty note for my coffee, the barista suggested that I try the Colombia Montebonito which I ordered hot so I can really taste and smell the aroma. One of my colleagues tried Sun-Dried Ethiopia Konga, which has a fruity note to it and when I sip a bit from her cup, the after taste of the coffee reminded me of lemon. Almost all of those that we tried were really strong that we had to tear up a couple of sugar packs to mix with the coffee. Well I do like what I had though and was satisfied with what the barista suggested for me to try.

Seating space is limited at the 8 Forbes Town branch and there wasn’t a couch in sight but the seats were comfy enough. They also offer other food items that are not in the usual Starbucks branches like scones, granola cheese muffin and  carrot muffin. We weren’t able to try any of them but we will surely do the next time we visit a Starbucks Reserve branch one of these days.

Starbucks Reserve: “It’s more elevated than the normal coffee experience. It’s our way of sharing what we feel is an ultra-premium coffee experience.”
Have you tried any of the Starbucks Reserve line already? Feel free to share your experience!

Starbucks Reserve
- G/F Eight Forbes Town Center, Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City
- 212 Tomas Morato Avenue Corner Scout Dr Lazcano, Quezon City
- G/F, Keyland Centre, Dela Rosa St., Makati City
- UG/F Bonifacio High Street Central Square, 5th Ave. cor. 30th St., Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City 
- Signa Designer Residences corner Valero & Rufino Sts., Makati City

For more information and restaurant reviews, check out their Zomato profile:
Starbucks Reserve Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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