If you are in Seattle, Roy Street is a must-visit destination. It is still (and has been for years) a learning laboratory for Starbucks. Roy Street is known for its unique seasonal drinks, from the Acorn Squash Latte to the Iced Japanese Macchiato, to unique food, and more. Starbucks opened Roy Street in November 2009, and it functions today fulfilling the same mission as in its beginning: It is an experimental store.

Right now, it is home to a totally one-of-a-kind espresso machine, developed by Starbucks using patented bottom-fill technology.   It is the new ‘Phantom” espresso machine: The design enhances the theater and experience for the customer by removing the barrier of a large box between the customer and the barista. Also the it uses a 4 coffee bean option design, meaning that customers choose between 4 different espresso options.

Here is the Phantom: This is what the customer sees:2 - 1 - 20170311_085655 the phantom


Four choices for your espresso sit near the machine:

2 - 1 - 20170311_085557 espresso bean choices

The Starbucks barista measures out exactly the right amount of coffee beans, weighing the precise amount of grams of coffee:

2 - 1 - 20170311_085718 Lindsey selecting the beans for my espresso

The barista then puts the beans in the grinder portion of the machine:

2 - 1 - 20170311_085729 the grinder

From the perspective of the barista, she selects one of four settings, calibrated for each coffee bean so that it will be exactly dosed with the right amount of pressure applied to the coffee:

2 - 1 - 20170311_090402 the grinder part of the phantom

Next thing you know, like magic, you watch your espresso shots appear before you:

2 - 1 - 20170311_090406 The Phantom

There’s a video perspective of this here.


I ordered both the Roy Street exclusive Cherry Chukar Macchiato and a solo shot of MicroBlend No. 11 so that I could really try this out. The quality of the espresso shot is absolutely delicious. If anything, it seems better than a typical Mastrena shot. I see this new innovation as perfect for the new Reserve Bar and /or Reserve Store platform that Starbucks is starting to roll out.

2 - 1 - Chocolate Cherry Macchiato collage

Pretty cool stuff! Be sure to visit Roy Street when you are in Seattle! You’ll find it at 700 Broadway Avenue East, here in Seattle.

The Phantom has been in testing at Roy Street since February 20, 2017 and Roy Street is the only place you will find the Phantom.