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Squeezing Every Last Drop Out of Starbucks’ Reserve Bar

Brookland spot adds affogato, serves up special caffeine-fueled coolers

Coffee’s coffee, right?

Wrong.

The team tasked with running Starbucks’ experimental Reserve Bar in Brookland is constantly working to mix up beverages that defy expectations.

“This is one of only 20 stores in the country that has this Reserve Bar experience,” a D.C.-based spokeswoman said of the exclusive spot. The main idea, she explained, is to showcase the best of the Roastery, the company’s Seattle-based test lab, with other markets.

Store manager Nicolas Gomis says he’s been doing just that. Since opening late last year, he and his team have poured their hearts and souls into perfecting taste sensations designed to dazzle coffee junkies and casual drinkers alike.

One of his favorite tools is the futuristic looking siphon brewing system. The high-end service features coffee brewed in 90 seconds over super hot halogen bulbs.

According to Gomis, the gravity-assisted procedure yields one of the purest expressions of coffee possible, enhancing the dark roasted character of the beans while eliminating any sediment and excess oil. The resulting brew is remarkably smooth.

On the flipside, the shop mixes drinks with either standard cold brew coffee or a nitro-infused version — though Gomis notes that both are produced from the same sun-dried Ethiopian beans.

Featured blends include:

  • Melrose: refreshing mocktail featuring cold brew coffee spiked with Demerara syrup, agitated in a shaker (till a frothy head develops), poured over ice and topped with a Luxardo cherry.
  • The Monroe: nitro cold brew coffee cut with lemonade, sweetened with turbinado sugar, and garnished with a slice of freeze-dried lime. “”It’s only in our store that you can get it,” Gomis said of the homegrown creation.
  • Black and Tan: nitro cold brew coffee layered atop apple juice. Drinking directly from the glass brings the bitter first, while sipping through a straw leads with a sugar rush and then mellows.
  • Affogato: introduced in February, this newcomer features fresh-brewed espresso coffee poured over Mora vanilla ice cream, all sprinkled with a touch of cinnamon.
  • Malt: uncut cold brew, Mora vanilla ice cream, malt. “I call it starting my day with dessert,” Gomis said of the frosty treat.

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