Direct numerical simulations of turbulent Taylor-Couette flow are performed up to inner cylinder Reynolds numbers of Re i = 105 for a radius ratio of η = r i /r o = 0.714 between the inner and outer cylinders. With increasing Re i , the flow undergoes transitions between three different regimes: (i) a flow dominated by large coherent structures, (ii) an intermediate transitional regime, and (iii) a flow with developed turbulence. In the first regime the large-scale rolls completely drive the meridional flow, while in the second one the coherent structures recover only on average. The presence of a mean flow allows for the coexistence of laminar and turbulent boundary layer dynamics. In the third regime, the mean flow effects fade away and the flow becomes dominated by plumes. The effect of the local driving on the azimuthal and angular velocity profiles is quantified, in particular, we show when and where those profiles develop.