It's an early Tuesday morning, and as usual, you're mindlessly scrolling through your Instagram feed, even though you've been trying not to start your day off by looking at your phone first thing (you know, practicing mindfulness and all that). What do you see? Depending on who you follow, your feed could be populated with any number of things. Maybe puppies or babies. Not-so-candid candids from your friend's recent baecation. Even scarily timely ads for that thing you literally just thought about. More likely than not, you will also see selfies, and many of them will include a cup of coffee.
Look, there's absolutely nothing wrong with a good coffee selfie—it's relatable content! But the truth is that that they also tend to be a bit...basic. And in a time of curated Instagram feeds that require both filter and caption coordination in order to achieve the ideal ~aesthetic~, why would you ever settle for basic?
As summer winds down and slowly gives way to fall, the best way to pumpkin spice (sorry) up your Instagram while still maintaining your long-established brand as an avid coffee drinker is to take your Starbucks addiction to the international level. Since opening its first brick and mortar store in Seattle back in 1971, the famous coffee company has grown to include over 28,000 different locations around the world. While many of these global Starbucks stores may look like the modern and minimalist spaces you're used to seeing (complete with that one customer who's taking entirely too long to order), many of them are so breathtakingly beautiful that you'll be wondering whether you stepped into a coffee shop or a national landmark.
From a tiny island in the Mediterranean to a forested mountaintop coffee farm in Central America, check out these international Starbucks locations that also double as IG-perfect photo ops.
Located in the central Mediterranean Sea, The Republic of Malta is one of three islands in the Maltese archipelago along with Gozo and Comino. Malta, the largest of the three, is considered the cultural, commercial and administrative center of the archipelago; it's the most visited of the islands for local attractions such as the Valletta Waterfront. The waterfront's buildings include an ancient church flanked by the Pinto Wharf on its left and the Forni Shopping Complex on its right.
Having recently opened to the public in March 2019, the Starbucks store in Malta is a brand new addition to the Valletta Waterfront as well as the country's introduction to the American coffee brand. The interior design of the location pays homage to Malta's long history as a trading port (hence the utilization of marble, stone, and wood throughout the space) while also embodying the relaxed and serene vibe of the Mediterranean. On the wall, customers can take selfies beside a sprawling wooden mural of the iconic Starbucks siren, whose roots actually can be found in Mediterranean mythology.
If you've ever been fortunate enough to visit Tokyo, you know that elements of historical Japanese architecture can be found throughout every ultra-modern building in the city, and the local Starbucks is no exception. Nestled deep in the Nakameguro district, Tokyo's Starbucks Reserve Roastery is a gorgeous fusion of new and old Japan, its veranda-style roofs pairing beautifully with the industrialized fixtures and the geometric designs in its wood ceilings. It also boasts a stunning rose gold column with hanging foil cutouts in the shape of the cherry blossoms that Nakamkeguro is known for.
This particular Starbucks store offers customers a unique and fully immersive coffee experience. At 32,000 square feet, the Reserve Roastery houses four different floors, each with a specific offering. The first floor is a "regular" coffee experience, and by regular, I mean that the baristas provide personalized coffee consultations along with delicious baked good. On the second floor, there is a Teavana cafe serving standard Starbucks teas as well as innovative spins on local offerings. An Arriviamo bar can be found on the third floor for folks who prefer a boozier beverage, and the fourth floor houses an open-floor workspace. Oh, and did we mention that it's the largest Starbucks location in the world?
Mexico is a popular vacation destination for travelers looking for some fun in the sun, but there's more to the country than just Cancún—book a flight instead to Jalisco and visit Guadalajara, the second largest city in Mexico and the go-to spot for all things tequila and mariachi! When you're taking a short break from sampling Guadalajaran delicacies like birria and polla a la Valentina or touring the ruins of the Guachimontones, stop by the city's local Starbucks Reserve and prepare to have your mind (and your Instagram feed) blown.
Inside of the Guadalajara Starbucks Reserve, coffee lovers will be treated to the expertise of the store's "Coffee Masters," a group of highly-trained baristas who can tell the differences between the slightest nuances of a Kenyan and Vietnamese coffee beans. After you've grabbed your standard mocha frappucino or kicked it up a notch with a Nitro Cold Brew, pull up a chair and take in the store's Instagrammable decor. From the multi-colored fringe hanging from the ceiling to the abundance of greenery within the Reserve, the space is obviously inspired by the Mexican naturaleza.
Ever heard the phrase "pura vida?" It's an expression that means "pure life," but to the people of Costa Rica, it's more than just a saying—it's a way of life, and it's fully embodied in Starbucks' Hacienda Alsacia.
Purchased in 2013, Hacienda Alsacia is Starbucks' first coffee farm. The purchase was made in order to achieve three major goals: Make growing coffee more profitable, develop the next generation of disease-resistant, quality coffee, and distribute it to farmers around the globe. The farm, its 600 acres located at the foot of the active Poás Volcano, is considered the coffee company's global agronomy headquarters.
The farm's visitor center opened in 2017, allowing coffee enthusiasts to tour various exhibits and see firsthand how Starbucks coffee is made, from ground to grind. After their tour, guests can make their way to Hacienda Alsacia's cafe, which has a stunning open view of the Costa Rican mountainside overlooking the miles and miles of lush green rainforests that stretch as far as the eye can see. You'll definitely want to bring along your camera for this trip.
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