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  • Writer's picturealexispjordan

Bourgeois Brews - Venti Travel Goals Met at the World's Largest Starbucks

Updated: Mar 10, 2020

“I want to challenge you today to get out of your comfort zone. You have so much incredible potential on the inside. God has put gifts and talents in you that you probably don’t know anything about…” - Joel Osteen

One major theme for 2020 is to live in abundance in all areas. For anyone who knows me knows that I love “new”, whether that’s a new restaurant, new show, new experiences all around allow me to create new memories. With there being so much to take part in, why wouldn’t I go for anything and everything out there?

A huge goal of mine is to create more memories, especially with loved ones, and traveling to new places is the perfect way to do so. I’ve been fortunate enough to travel to the Windy City of Chicago many of times for work, but never solely for play, and once I had an opportunity to do so I ran at the chance.

Of course I enjoyed the cliche tourist attractions, snapping pictures in front of the mirrored-metallic structure that is the Bean, enjoying the sights with some tea along the Chicago Riverwalk, enjoying a lovely dinner overlooking the entire city and lake at the John Hancock building in the Signature Room at 95th, but a new and incredibly unique experience was having coffee and lunch the Starbucks Reserve, the world’s largest Starbucks.

Let me say that this is no regular coffee shop. This place was incredible! With an all glass exterior overlooking the Magnificent Mile, I could totally see why this would be a major tour

ist attraction.

When we arrived we were met with a roped off line and were told that there would be a wait anywhere between 20-45 minutes. Fortunately enough for us to have gone on a weekday around lunch, the wait was only about 15, and when we walked in we could clearly understand why. In this massive roastery, there were five stories of pastries, coffees, and even a fully stocked bar with wine, beer, and all the liquors you could name. We were greeted with free samples of a dark roast, and the most pleasant staff ready to serve us any pastry available on the first floor.

We took the (coolest) spiral escalator up to the second floor Princi Bakery & Cafe where they served Italian classics , and we saw additional baked pastries as they were coming out of the oven, fresh salads, cakes, pies, pizza, everythang. We saw quite a few people with a peachy, alcoholic drink that looked like a need, and a fully staffed open kitchen/bar area that had the employees moving! It was packed packed!

On the third floor was the Experimental Coffee Bar, which was known to feature the art, science and theater of coffee, and they were not joking. I totally saw some kind of show or science experiment the second I walked in where there was a ton of misty smoke enveloping the barista area.

On the fourth floor, was the Arriviamo Cocktail Bar, which was super elite, with reserved signs even at the bar stools that appeared available outside of the 45 minute wait. This was a fully stocked bar, but it was beautifully constructed. Here they offered coffee, tea, top shelf mixes that you could order from anywhere as well as Knob Creek barrel-aged coffee cocktails and signature drinks. The barrel-aged coffee is said to have a chocolate, stone fruit, and rich oak taste, and they had flights and other creations available to try if you were up for the adventure.

On the fifth floor was the Roof Terrace, which was an adorable rooftop area overlooking Michigan Avenue from on high, which was closed during the winter months and totally understandable because Chicago cold is a different kind of cold and I wouldn’t be out there without a nice, Venti, hot, green tea latte, sweetened with whipped cream, but I’d much rather enjoy the scenery from the inside which was all glass overlooking the city.

We dined in for lunch on the second floor, and after about a 20 minute wait in line we got to the front where we were met with our barista that graciously walked us through all of the options of pastries, salads, pastas, toasts, drinks, and everything else. She took our order on a tablet, took my payment right then and there, and took my number to text us when our order was ready.

And after quite a time searching and waiting for a seat for two (I told you, this place gets big packed), we were served and read’ta eat! Everything was fantastic, the caprese salad over arugula was refreshing with the fresh mozzarella, the pizza, which was closer to a pepperoni flatbread (thankfully it wasn’t Chicago deep dish style!) was a pleasant surprise for a coffee shop, and the avocado toast had some of the freshest, tastiest, smoked salmon I’ve had.

The lattes were no exception in this roastery, and the Hazelnut Bianco Latte and the Dark Chocolate Mocha were heavenly, I am such a fan of a semi-sweet chocolate and this hit the spot.

The pastries we saved for last, and my goodness, I am so glad we did. The hazlenut in the Torta Nicciolina was so rich and it was the bougiest brownie I have ever had. The Cremosa al Pistachio was i n c r e d i b l e ! It was a layered mousse that was somehow delicate but also full of flavor and my favorite thing from the trip. Definitely a must try next time you’re in the city!

This Starbucks Reserve visit was such a great experience and I’m glad to have been able to go, I’ll be making my way next time I’m in the Chi and I highly recommend that you add this to your list of to-see’s if you’re in the city. There is something for everyone whether you’re a fan of coffee, tea, or just want to try a new location for your favorite cocktail. The food was an experience on its’ own and I could not recommend this visit more.

Next time you’re heading to the Windy City be sure to see the Bean and make sure to try the beans from the Starbucks Reserve, you will be blown away.

If you are a coffee lover and you’re up for an adventure, one of my favorite girlfriends has a blog for all of her roastery endeavors as she sets out in the Pursuit of Coffee. Head to insta to let us know if you’ve been, and let us know where to go next!

Happy Manifesting!

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