Starbucks opens largest store and "roastery" in Shanghai

Gladys Abbott
December 8, 2017

Caixin reports that the company "will open a Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai, the first of the new concept cafes outside its home turf, reflecting the company's confidence in its fastest growing market".

In fact, the multimillion dollar building actually looks like a giant coffee bean when viewed from the sky.

As the sounds of Luciano Pavarotti's "Nessun Dorma" play in the background, the sheer scale of the place becomes apparent. Shanghai location is Starbucks' biggest store to date, and also its most advanced digitally.

The ceiling is covered in 10,000 handmade tiles made from American walnut, that are hexagonal in shape and apparently inspired by the locking of an espresso shot on an espresso machine.

Guests can virtually see them resting before they are whisked through copper pipes to the coffee bars, and they can read about the process a bean goes through on the way to becoming a cup of coffee.

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There's a "pairing bar", which focuses on how coffee complements food.

It also features an incredible menu of more than 100 drinks, including a tea infused with nitrogen.

However these are no ordinary chairs. The handcrafted long bar, one of three on site, is aptly-named, as at 88 foot it's the world's longest coffee bar.

Sounding more and more like a coffee-themed amusement park, customers can also use their phones to enhance their experience once they've gotten their caffeine fix - "All along the way, customers can point their mobile devices around the Roastery for even more moments of discovery as they immerse themselves in the augmented reality (AR) experience". This new store location takes up 2,700 square meters of space making it the largest Starbucks location to date, beating the company's flagship store located in Seattle.

In addition, the Roastery digital web-app platform also incorporates a digital menu and will intuitively, through AR technology, share details of the coffee bars, brewing methods, as well as other not-to-be-missed unique online and offline experiences. During their journey, customers can earn virtual badges. Starbucks plan to launch 5 Roasteries (besides Seattle) before 2020. The big news is that now China is the proud owner of biggest Starbucks cafe in the world. This is the second Starbucks opens under the trade mark " Reserve Roastery ": a concept of points of sale refined offering of roasts of beans of the highest quality, teas, beers brewed coffee, and a personalized service.

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