Good News: You Can Finally “Siphon” Your Coffee

Starbucks new Reserve on Main caters to the coffee nerd.  

May 9, 2017

By Anicka Quin

When I first moved to Vancouver over 15 years ago, I told a friend that the easiest way to get this city to surrender would be to halt our coffee supply. We’ve taken our coffee seriously for a long time—a “coffee-forward” culture, those that like to spend time analyzing that sort of thing call it.

And so not surprisingly, Starbucks chose Vancouver for its first western Canadian site for its new Reserve Bar, opening today in a high-design space at 14th and Main that’s for those coffee lovers that go one step past appreciation into nerd-dom.


There are two bars: one for your grab-and-go, caramel-macchiato-with-a-blueberry-scone self, and a second bar that’s catering to the aficionado who takes both beans and brewing seriously. There, you choose the small-lot coffee, which will rotate approximately every three weeks (on opening, a selection from Rwanda, Peru, Malawi and a decaf from Costa Rica), and how you want it: pour over, Clover, hand-tamped on the Black Eagle machine, Nitro draft taps, or most theatrically, the siphon.


The latter resembles a scientist’s beaker and Bunsen burner, though it relies on a halogen bulb for its heat, and some timed stirring and vacuum extraction to create a clean-tasting brew. It’s all presented in a steel carafe on a wooden tray, with a collectible tasting note card to help the taster discover, for example, the citrus and milk chocolate flavours in their brew.


Perhaps even sweeter—it’s also the only Starbucks to serve legit affogato: espresso poured over vanilla ice cream, and topped with cinnamon.

Starbucks Reserve Bar

2980 Main Street
starbucks.com

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