On a number of occasions, I've mentioned that there is a physical Starbucks Coffee Gear store. It's a place where you might find unique Starbucks logo-ed or word-marked items, not offered inside the actual Starbucks stores. The one Coffee Gear Store is on the 8th floor of the Starbucks headquarters building, at 2401 Utah Avenue South. It's open to the public, and operates standard business hours, Monday through Friday. If you're a partner (meaning a Starbucks employee), you can order online from the Starbucks Coffee Gear store website. I dropped by the Coffee Gear store on Friday, August 29th. As you can see, there are pens, pencils, keychains, official Starbucks work shirts, iPhone cases, recycled Starbucks bags and much more. Have a look at some of the stuff you might find at this one-of-a-kind store:
In fact, I regularly get asked what to do that's Starbucks-related when visiting Seattle. There really is a lot of see. I've done previous articles on this topic, but Starbucks is quick to open new stores and so my list of what to do has changed a little over time. Here are my top Starbucks-vacation ideas:
- Visit the Coffee Gear Store. That's a must-do thing if you're doing a Starbucks tour of Seattle. Go to 2401 Utah Avenue South in Seattle and head up to the 8th floor. From there, you'll easily find it off the elevators, to your right.
- Visit the Starbucks Roastery - Okay, we'll you can't do this yet because it's under construction right now. It's on the corner of Pike and Minor, just past the downtown area, into Capitol Hill-First Hill neighborhood in Seattle. My guess is that it will open in late December.
- Visit 1912 Pike Place Starbucks - You can visit the store "where it all began." You'll find unique merchandise, hand-crafted espresso with a manual espresso machine, and a friendly experience.
- Visit Roy Street Coffee and Tea - This is one of the few "experimental" Starbucks stores. Its menu and store design hardly even resemble a Starbucks. There are no blenders. Beer and wine is available. And you'll get a beautiful shot of espresso from a manual machine. You can pay with your Starbucks card and earn a star but there's no way to use a reward at Roy Street.
- Visit an Evolution Fresh Juice Bar - Starbucks operates several Evolution Fresh juice bars. There's one on Pine Street downtown as well as one in Seattle's University Village shopping area. Don't forget to pick up a collectible Evolution Fresh Starbucks card while you're there.
- Visit a concept shipping container Starbucks - Seattle has two of them. One is the original shipping container store, called the "reclamation" concept store in Tukwila (on the edge of Seattle and Tukwila.) There's also a shipping container Starbucks in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.
- Visit the Teavana concept store in University Village - This store is spacious and has an assortment of food and beverage. You can enjoy a carbonated tea, lunch, and smell lots of wonderful loose leaf teas.
- Visit the "skybucks" Starbucks - This Starbucks is located on the 40th floor of the Columbia Tower in downtown Seattle. The Starbucks itself is quite normal, however it's on the only Starbucks in Seattle where you can enjoy your latte and spectacular views of the city from the 40th floor of Seattle's tallest building. The views make it fantastic - and it's open to the public!
- Visit East Olive Way Starbucks - This large store has a fireplace, one of a kind design, beer, wine, small plates, and offers regular coffee seminar events every other Monday evening (call ahead to confirm their schedule). You'll find this store at the corner of East Olive Way and Summit, in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. Here it is on the Starbucks store locator.
- Visit the University Village III Starbucks - This is a very beautiful store and is worth visiting just for that reason alone!
- Take a ferry from Seattle to visit the new Bainbridge Island Starbucks, on High School Road at the Island Village Shopping Center.