Creating a theater for coffee was the vision Starbucks designers had in mind when they developed the Longmen store in Taiwan. The new store features Starbucks® Reserve coffees and is located in one of the busiest shopping and fashion districts in the city of Taipei.
“We wanted to elevate the Reserve coffee experience for customers and inspire them with our coffee passion,” said Wen Lin, project leader, Starbucks Taiwan. “A Reserve coffee bar is located in the center of the store or ‘center stage,’ so customers can watch partners handcrafting beverages from every vantage point.”
Behind the coffee bar is a central column with an abstract graphic, created from blackened metal with laser cut outs in a coffee bean pattern. Diffused lighting inside the column creates a lantern effect.
“The column draws the eye to the bar to offer an extra layer of interest and evokes the romance of enjoying our coffee,” said Claudia Lee, director, Starbucks Store Design.
Visual representations of the coffee journey are featured in select areas throughout the store, highlighting the regions where coffee is harvested. This includes a 14-meter coffee belt map, created by Taiwanese wood veneer artist, Sandy Lee.
The store’s design takes advantage of existing architectural elements such as an irregular-shaped floor plan and various ceiling heights to create a strong spatial look and feel. Elevated platforms were crafted into seating areas for customers, where they can look down at what’s taking place at the coffee bar. Taiwanese-designed wood tables and chairs round out inside seating and reflect local styles.
“We selected stools and café chairs that have a handcrafted quality to complement the store aesthetic,” said Percy Lee, senior design manager, Starbucks Store Design. “The terrazzo floor tile is the same that is traditionally found in residential buildings. This connects customers to local culture and provides a sense of familiarity and comfort when relaxing in the store.”
Featuring a variety of coffee brewing methods, the Longmen store is the first Starbucks in Taiwan to offer both Clover and the Black Eagle machines. Baristas will also offer coffee using the Pour Over method with a three-cup station designed and made by Iron Wang, a local Taiwanese artist who specializes in coffee brewing equipment.
To pair with coffee, the store’s food menu includes creations by Sadaharu Aoki, a Japanese pastry chef, who owns boutiques in Paris, Taipei, Tokyo and additional cities in Japan. Along with sandwiches and desserts, customers will find Opera, a French sponge cake, created specifically for the store and made with Starbucks® Colombia coffee.