Eyeing the success of fancy "third-wave" coffee purveyors like Blue Bottle and Intelligentsia, Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz today announced plans to roll out 1,000 high-end coffee bars. Reuters reports that the bars, under the "Reserve" brand, are targeted for opening in 2017 and will operate out of existing Starbucks cafes — kind of like a corporate pop-up with staying power, if you will.

Both the coffee served and the manner in which it is prepared will differ from the traditional Starbucks fare — facts which will be reflected in the price. An eight-ounce bag of Reserve coffee can costs as much as $50 (!), Consumerist tells us.

"Collaborating with our tasting team, our master roasters experiment until they unlock each coffee's inherent flavor qualities," Starbucks says of their Reserve line. "We don’t tell the bean how to taste — we listen to know what the bean has to offer so we can bring out the best flavor."

This move represents a definite play by Schultz to take Starbucks into the higher end market that has been defined by the likes of Blue Bottle for almost a decade. In addition to the 1,000 coffee bars which will open up inside of Starbucks around the US, Schultz has plans for an additional 1,000 Reserve-only cafes — although the timing on those is a little unclear.

“Everything we have created and learned about coffee has led us to this moment," Schultz said in a 2014 press release announcing the first Reserve shop in Seattle. "The Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting room is a multi-sensory experience that will transform the future of specialty coffee.”

Later that year, he told The Economic Times that he intended to "take people on a magical coffee ride." However, knowing San Franciscans' general snootiness about their pour-over, we're not sure it's a ride many here will want a ticket to.

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