Kickstarting another photodiary (broken down into four parts) with how most people begin their own mornings-- with coffee. Admittedly, I am not a coffee person. Nevertheless, that didn't make me immune to the captivating magic of the Starbucks siren, nor did it make me any less excited about visiting two of Starbucks's landmarks in Seattle-- their first ever store, and their roastery.
Seattle just might be the coffee capital of the world, what with many coffee shops being born in the city. If you're wondering why that is so, it's because Seattle is infamous for being almost perpetually under rainy clouds. Luckily though, during our visit, Seattle was unusually sunny. On our first day-- just as we came off our cruise ship and dropped our luggage off at the hotel-- we headed to the Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room.
Starbucks's biggest store to date, also known as The Roastery, is more than just an extra-fancy, blown-up coffee shop. It has an actual roastery (because duh), and a wide selection of rare coffee blends. Their menu, although short on food choices, boasts different exquisite types of coffee brewing and sourcing.
It's no secret that coffee shops provide your typical Instagram fodder; but boy, will obsessive Instagrammers have a field day in The Roastery! Everything is literally picture-perfect-- from the interior, the exclusive merchandise, the orders, and up until the restroom (no kidding, you get a view of the "coffee factory" as you wash your hands). I wish I could give a more in-depth review of the place by talking about their coffee, but again, I'm not a coffee person.
I try to avoid big doses of caffeine as much as possible, or else my head spins from vertigo. But if my mere observations are anything to go by, I can tell that The Roastery is something special. So whether you are a coffee aficionado or an average Starbucks drinker like me, visiting The Roastery is definitely something worth doing.
The Roastery is only a couple of blocks away from the famous Pike Place Market, where Starbucks's origins may be traced back. Bearing its name in a slight-different typeface and a more detailed logo is The First Starbucks Store, right in the heart of the market.
But did you know that "The First Starbucks Store" isn't exactly the first? Facts state (trying my best to recover the exact news article which served as my source) that the coffee giant had its start at a different location in Seattle. Unfortunately, a fire razed the store, and so the original Starbucks moved to where it is now.
Our timing dropped us at the end of a queue that stretched two stores away from Starbucks. The crowd, we assumed, was an expected mix of tourists who came from cruises that just got back (same as ours), and those who are just about to embark on the following voyages.
If you're expecting a rare concoction being served at the iconic branch, you will be disappointed. Their beverage menu is just the typical Starbucks menu-- at least in America, that is. Also absent: a food selection and sitting space. No chairs and tables, just buy and go (and take pictures along the way). But what makes the effort of going and waiting worth it, besides the experience, are the exclusive items. Here, you'll find mugs and tumblers that are branded "The First Starbucks Store" with the founding year 1971 and the location. Genuine coffee lovers (like my mom) will also be delighted to find the Pike Place Roast in its special packaging.
I've stayed away from "unnecessary sugars" including the frappuccino, but I just had to break my abstinence by ordering one at the original Starbucks-- a tall, light (meaning: non-fat, no whip) caramel cocoa cluster frappe. After all, every trip is pretty much a series of "cheat days", yes?
Watch out for my three remaining posts dedicated to the Emerald City. Stay updated with my (future) travels by following me on Instagram (_erikarosales) and Snapchat (ekdoublea)!