China's budding coffee culture propels Starbucks

Gladys Abbott
December 6, 2017

Starbucks has opened its 30,000-square-foot Reserve-brand roastery in Shanghai, China, featuring three brew bars, theatrical coffee delivery systems, a mobile-based augmented reality experience and intricate design work throughout that pays homage to the company and its 18-year history in China.

This new Shanghai store is almost 30,000 square feet, has over 100 beverages on the menu, and allows customers to participate in the first AR (augmented reality) experience from Starbucks.

The success of the Seattle Roastery, which opened in late 2014, demonstrated to Starbucks the potential for more upscale locations and provided a blueprint for the other Roasteries in the works around the world. See all the photos of the breathtaking Roastery ahead and prepare to crave a good cup of coffee.

It would be all too easy to dismiss China's new Starbucks Roastery as a novel publicity stunt.

Coffee shop aficionados, take notice.

More news: Colin Kaepernick a finalist for Time's 2017 Person of the Year

But, if you'd rather have tea, you can get that too. When customers enter the massive new Roastery building, which measures up at 2,700 square-meters (30,000 square-feet), they'll be greeted by a two-story copper cask adorned with over a thousand hand-engraved Chinese stamps, collectively narrating the story of Starbucks coffee. Last quarter, China posted an 8 percent increase, compared with a 3 percent gain in the US, excluding impacts from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Now, almost 20 years later, China is Starbucks' fastest growing market, with a new store opening every 15 hours.

In order to target the upmarket coffee segment, Starbucks also plans to open more roastery cafes in New York, Tokyo and Italy. At twice the size of the flagship roastery in Seattle, it's more a museum dedicated to java versus a stop to grab a morning pick-me-up.

There's also pricey merch for sale, such as a wooly gray cap with a "Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai" patch ($55.80) and a $90 coffee press.

Starbucks Shanghai Reserve Roastery is now open at 789 Nanjing Road W.in Shanghai, China.

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

Discuss This Article

FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER