|Starbucks Reserve Roastery & Tasting Room, Seattle|
|Tour bus parked outside said Roastery.|
I had no intention of going in. But there was a pack of tourists milling around taking selfies and I thought, What the hell is this?
The experience was surreal. It was more crowded than a nightclub, with music pumping throughout the space. Only, instead of dancing, patrons were sipping on tasting flights of either coffee or tea.
One employee moved through the crowd with his iPad taking orders, while servers brought out tiny coffee cups lined up and labeled on a naturally sourced, organic, free trade bamboo tray with all the seriousness of a sommelier.
The coffee was poured from various brewing devices that looked more like the set up in a mad scientist's lab.
There was also ample retail space where one could buy exotic coffee beans as well as a wide variety of exotic means by which to grind, brew, and drink the stuff. And everyone was, quite literally, drinking it up.
I'm dangerously close enough to joining the cult myself but I got out of there fast, headed across the street, and grabbed a beer before the jitters could set in.