When Starbucks opened its first location in the Middle East and North Africa region in 1999, the company chose to make its debut in Kuwait City with a café on the Souq Sharq waterfront in the heart of the city’s retail and entertainment district. Eighteen years later, Kuwait City is the site of the company’s first Starbucks Reserve™ coffee bar experience, located in the city’s soaring Crystal Tower.
The skyscraper itself provided inspiration for the warm wooden interiors, with triangle shaped panels reminiscent of natural crystal stones. The store combines coffee theater with local design elements, and the craft of coffee takes center stage. Existing signature features were integrated into the design, including a coffered concrete ceiling and exposed brick surfaces.
“We are extremely proud to introduce this special store that showcases our passion for coffee in this region,” said Graeme Gardiner, senior operations manager for Starbucks Kuwait. “With an immersive and sensory coffee bar, the new store defines a new opportunity bringing customers closer to their coffee – and Starbucks – more than ever before.”
Featuring the company’s rare, small-lot Starbucks Reserve™ coffees roasted at its Starbucks Reserve™ Roastery in Seattle, the coffee bar gives baristas (who are Coffee Masters) a platform to engage in a dialogue with customers over a variety of brewing methods. These methods include manual Black Eagle espresso, as well as pour-over, Clover ™ Brewer, Siphon and Chemex. In addition to the classic Starbucks menu, the location will also feature specialty beverages created at the Roastery that showcase Starbucks Reserve™ coffees.
Stores with Starbucks Reserve® coffee bars have opened in a number of U.S. cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Baltimore, Washington, D.C. and Boston. The experience is expected to make up 20 percent of the global store portfolio by 2021.