It’s easy to rely on Starbucks for your daily caffeine fix. After all, the giant coffee chain has a branch at practically every corner of the Metro. Plus, aside from the regular branches, another type of Starbucks cafe called Starbucks Reserve has started popping up, too.
If you’ve always wondered what the difference is between the regular Starbucks branch and a Reserve store, the answer is actually pretty simple. What sets the Reserve stores apart are their small-lot coffee beans, brewed by baristas through different techniques like Chemex, pour-over, Siphon, and more. The featured coffee beans are usually only available for a limited time only, so visiting your favorite Reserve branch can mean having a new type of brew waiting for you.
Aside from the beans, Reserve branches also offer an exclusive menu of espresso-based drinks, pastries, and savory food. We list down some of our favorites for you.
1 Espresso Con Panna
Starbucks Reserve branches offer a wide variety of espresso-based drinks called Espresso Classics for you to appreciate their small-lot beans. While you could always opt for Starbucks’ Espresso or Americano to get the full flavor of your coffee without any frills, those with a sweet tooth should try Starbucks Reserve’s Espresso Con Panna. The drink is Starbucks Reserve espresso topped with a dollop of demerara whipped cream, for a toasty, caramel-like sweetness.
2 Espresso Macchiato
If you love Starbucks’ Caramel Macchiato, Reserve has its own version with the Espresso Macchiato. Perhaps more coffee-forward than its caramel counterpart, the Espresso Macchiato has a shot of Reserve espresso that’s topped with foamed milk.
Another drink that’s unique to Reserve branches is the Cortado, a beverage coffee enthusiasts should recognize. For the uninitiated, the Cortado simply means that a shot of Reserve espresso is topped with the equivalent amount of steamed milk to balance the coffee’s full-bodied flavor and temper its acidity.
4 Shakerato Bianco
Aside from the Starbucks Reserve classics, they also offer espresso-based drinks they’ve specially crafted themselves like the Shakerato Bianco, a refreshing iced-coffee drink perfect for Manila’s perpetual warmth. The cool drink has espresso shaken with ice and vanilla sweet cream. You can also opt for the Shakerato Bianco Deconstructed, with demerara syrup and sweet cream served on the side.
It’s only at Starbucks Reserve branches that you can currently order ice cream—or affogato, to be exact. Starbucks Reserve offers two kinds: the Classic Affogato or vanilla ice cream with two shots of Reserve espresso, or the House Affogato, made extra special with a drizzle of demerara syrup and a shake of cinnamon powder.
6 Kouign Amann
If you miss the kouign amann craze of 2016, you can still get your fix of the sugary, flaky pastry at selected Starbucks Reserve branches. As buttery and flaky as a croissant, the French pastry has a crunchy outer layer of sugar, its sweetness matching well with a dark, espresso-based drink.
Craving a doughnut to go with your cuppa? You can get the Bombolone at selected Reserve branches. This tender doughnut is dusted with powdered sugar and filled with chocolate cream—perfect for your sweet tooth.
8 Smoked Ham and Brie in French Butter Croissant
Starbucks Reserve levels up your usual ham-and-cheese croissant by using the same elements, but just a touch fancier. Their buttery croissant is large enough for a filling snack and is stuffed with strips of smoked ham and cubes of creamy Brie.
9 Apple Pumpkin Soup
We might not have autumn in the Philippines, but we can imagine Reserve’s Apple Pumpkin Soup tastes like the season. The creamy soup has the perfect balance of sweetness and spiced savoriness, thanks to sweet apples blended with the pumpkin.
10 Blueberry Cheese Pocket
Have you ever wondered if you could have blueberry cheesecake on-the-go? Starbucks Reserve’s Blueberry Cheese Pocket might just be the answer you’re looking for. Instead of pastry puff, the pocket pie is made out of a cookie crust that’s stuffed with cream cheese and blueberry compote.
11 Peach Mango Cobbler
When it comes to fruit combinations, you can never go wrong with peach and mango, and that’s a fact Starbucks fully understands if this cobbler is anything to go by. Their Peach Mango Cobbler has peach and mango compote on top of a sugary oat biscuit crust. Have it warmed for extra cozy vibes with your hot coffee.
Visit Starbucks Reserve Philippines’ official website for the complete list of branches.