He was supposed to be drinking the coffee of his dreams, but instead…

You might not guess it from some of the things he puts in his body, but SoraNews24’s ace reporter Mr. Sato is actually something of a coffee connoisseur. He’s particularly fond of Starbucks coffee (as evidenced by his world-famous photo shoot), and so when he heard there was a new Starbucks opening in Tokyo’s Naka Meguro neighborhood, he blew off his other assignments to go get a cup on the first day it was open to the general public, February 28.

Now in most cases, a new Tokyo Starbucks wouldn’t be an excuse to skip work, seeing as how just about every train station in the city has a Starbucks branch just a short walk from the ticket gates. However, this one is special, since the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo is a multi-story complex serving not only special gourmet coffees, but exclusive teas, Japanese desserts, artisanal pizzas, and even cocktails.

So Mr. Sato hopped on the train for Naka Meguro Station, and after he passed through the gate he made his way to the picturesque cherry blossom tree-lined path that runs along the Meguro River, one of Tokyo’s prime sakura-viewing spots. After about a 10-minute stroll, he saw what he’d come for.

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo exterior is understated and elegant, yet also distinct and fashionable, making it a perfect match for the vibe in this part of town.

Instead of the standard green-and-white plastic sign of an ordinary Starbucks branch, the Reserve Roastery renders the brand’s double-tailed mermaid as stately bronze-tone metal seal, installed above the entrance doors.

Looking through the large windows, Mr. Sato could make out gleaming glass bins of enticing coffee beans, and the equipment used to roast them to perfection.

However, since he’d shown up on opening day, there was a large crowd of fellow coffee fans who also wanted to get inside the brand-new facility, despite it being a Thursday morning. Since Starbucks is all about enjoying a relaxing atmosphere, the staff naturally wanted to limit the amount of congestion inside the Reserve Roastery, and so they were letting customers in a few at a time. Considerately, they were passing out slips of paper to those wanting to get in, so that you wouldn’t necessarily have to stand in a line the whole time.

Mr. Sato asked the staff for one of the slips, and was happy to see that by scanning the QR code with his smartphone, he could check on how many parties were ahead of him.

Still, he figured he was in for a pretty long wait, given how many other people were asking the staff for entrance slips. “I bet there’s probably like a hundred people ahead of me,” he thought, bracing himself as he scanned the code, after which the screen informed him that…

there were 955 parties ahead of him!

Again, that’s 955 parties, not people. Considering how popular Starbucks is as a place to hang out with friends, take a break during a date, or snack on sweets with kids, there’s no way all 955 of those parties were people who’d come alone.

So, just like when he tried to visit the first Japanese branch of Blue Bottle Coffee

…Mr. Sato decided to go get his caffeine fix somewhere else, and trudged through the rain back towards the station, stepping into a branch of hamburger fast food chain Freshness Burger that he passed along the way.

On the plus side, Freshness Burger is really tasty. Still, it wasn’t what Mr. Sato had come all the way here for. He’d been hoping to lavish his taste buds with luxury like his coworker who actually did manage to make her way into the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo, and while he’ll definitely be trying again, he now knows that grabbing a quick cup of coffee there on his way to work won’t really be an option until the crowds die down.

Cafe information
Starbucks Reserve Roastery Tokyo / スターバックス リザーブ ロースタリー東京
Address: Tokyo-to, Meguro-ku, Aobadai 2-19-23
Open 7 a.m.-11 p.m.

Photos ©SoraNews24
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