GET ready for an incredible coffee experience as Starbucks opens its largest location in the world – the company’s first overseas state-of-the-art premium Reserve Roastery store – in Shanghai.
The new 30,000 square-foot store, is around half the size of a soccer pitch and has everything for which coffee and tea lovers could wish. As China grows to be one of the biggest coffee roasting and drinking markets in the world, the opening couldn’t have come a better time.
The store – which opens on Wednesday – is twice the size of Starbucks’ flagship Reserve Roastery in Seattle and the equivalent of 40 average New York City apartments.
The Shanghai Reserve Roastery is the company’s most ambitious project ever and is fully championed by the coffee giant’s founder and chairman, Howard Schultz. “With the rising middle class and the opportunity in China, the market is going to be much larger here,” Schultz said at the launch of the new store.
The sensory experience store can be found in all its copper-plated glory on the renowned West Nanjing Road shopping boulevard. Customers will be welcomed by a glorious eight-meter copper cask, full of freshly roasted beans. The iconic cask connects to the three coffee bars with pneumatic copper piping, replenishing all the roasted Starbucks Reserve coffee silos.
Customers can also, for the first time ever, watch eight highly-trained roasters turn the little green beans into the golden-brown delights that the Chinese nation loves. The coffee wonderland will focus on using reserve coffee, sourced from 30 countries around the world, including China’s Yunnan Province.
Coffee sippers can also chill out on China’s longest coffee bar, coming in at 88 feet. Two other long coffee tables will also serve as the stage where hundreds of baristas will handcraft some of the rarest, small-lot coffees in the world, using six specially-designed brewing methods.
Putting coffee-swigging aside for a moment, the Shanghai Reserve Roastery is also offering customers a fully augmented reality experience. By pointing their smartphones at different points around the store, information about Starbucks’ story and roasting methods will come to life in front of their eyes.
This experience is accessible through the custom-designed Roastery digital web-app or on Alibaba’s Taobao app. This is a handy partnership, as customers can then save their favorite brews via the app and purchase beans and ground coffee via Alibaba’s Tmall marketplace.
And there is more. Experience-seekers can also try treats from Princi Bakery. Acclaimed baker Rocco Princi combines the craft of bread baking, exceptional ingredients and the ‘Spirit di Milano’ to bring his artisanal offering to Asia for the first time.
If you are more a cup-of-tea and fresh bake kind of person, then explore the Teavanna Bar. Combining traditional and modern brewing methods to create a signature blend, served hot or over ice – for every weather and every occasion.
Reportedly, a new Starbucks store opens every 15 hours across China, and Starbucks has future plans to open up specialized Roasteries in Italy, New York and Tokyo.
This expansion comes in line with the company’s announcement of pledging strong commitment to China by contributing meaningful and enduring social impact through poverty alleviation by creating opportunities.
“We believe it is our role and responsibility to use our scale to give back to the communities as we continue to grow in China, and with the people of China,” said Belinda Wong, the chief executive officer of Starbucks China.
“Our commitment, together with our Roastery opening, epitomizes how Starbucks is doubling down on unprecedented opportunities we see in the future for Starbucks and China.”
The new Reserve Roastery will open tomorrow, December 6, so make sure to get down there early to discover your new favorite blend.