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Starbucks Reserve Opens at Downtown Disney

Written By Scott Joseph On June 12, 2014

Starbucks roof

Starbucks, the caffeine king, recently opened a company-owned store at Downtown Disney, and this place certainly fits in: it’s something of a coffee theme park.

The new location is huge, nearly 4000 square feet, and is one of only 21 Starbucks in Florida that offer Reserve coffee. More on that in a moment.

The first thing you might notice about the Downtown Disney coffee shop, or maybe not, is its roof, which sports a garden of lemongrass. Compost for the plants was provided by other Starbucks in the area that sent over spent coffee grounds. (Apparently you can ask for coffee grounds for your own garden from your favorite Starbucks; who knew?)

Starbucks entry

starbucks mobile

The under-caffeinated crowds enter into a two-story main reception area. There are usually 30 workers on duty at any time, including one whose job is to direct guests into a Disney-worthy rope line. Distinctive design elements here include a stone-carved rendition of the Starbucks siren logo and a Calder-like mobile overhead.

starbucks patio

There’s another version of the logo on the patio, which is covered and has a serene view of the lake. The logo on the wall here, just over the long, gas-flame fireplace, is fashioned out of moss. Very Florida.

There are several commendable elements that are environmentally friendly. The building itself is LEED certified for its greenness, and I don’t just mean the lemongrass roof. Lighting is strictly LED, and just about any wood you see, including tabletops, is from salvaged trees.

Starbucks screen

There’s technology, too, and perhaps the most interesting is a 70-inch video display that connects to another Starbucks Reserve store at Downtown Disney in Anaheim. People in the store are rendered as chalk outlines, but not in a creepy crime-scene sort of way. (I suppose the outlines are to avoid any privacy issues.) The display may be used for other functions, including electronic finger painting.

Starbucks Disney Orlando bar

Serious coffee drinkers will be drawn to the Reserve bar where small batches of specialty coffees are offered. Because of the small batchness the offerings will change frequently.

Here you may find your selection brewed in Starbucks’ Clover system. This is an elaborate device that is sort of like a reverse French press. The grounds are placed into a well on top of the boxy machine. The temperature of the water is kept at a precise degree as an elevator platform pushes the grounds upward, forming something that looks like a brownie.

I was invited to sample some of the Reserve coffees along with store managers Wendy Hackett and Dan Richardson and district manager Pat Devila. We sipped a Brazil Bourbon Rio Verde, Finca Nuevo Mexico, Zambia Peaberry Terranova Estate, and Sumatra Blue Batak. As an experiment, we sampled one of the coffees brewed in both the Clover machine and a simple French press. I actually liked the French press version better, which right there saved me a ton of money because one of those Clover machines must cost as much as a Ferrari.

A nice thing about the Reserve bar is that it is indeed a bar, made of some of that gorgeous reclaimed wood, and you can sit and sip and chat the baristas up about the various brews. They all love coffee talk.

You’ll find the Starbucks Reserve store at Downtown Disney, next to the Characters in Flight balloon.

We hope you find our reviews and news articles useful and entertaining. It has always been our goal to assist you in making informed decisions when spending your dining dollars. If we’ve helped you in any way, please consider making a contribution to help us continue our journalism. Thank you.

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