World's largest Starbucks store to open in China

World's largest Starbucks store to open in China

The "Starbucks Reserve Roastery" is the first global offering of a new, upmarket Starbucks super-café, where customers can watch their beans being roasted and brewed before being served "gourmet" coffee that is marketed at a higher end than at a typical Starbucks outlet.

Until now, Starbucks' only open Roastery was in Seattle, Washington.

The roastery, on West Nanjing Road in Jing'an District, is twice the size of its Seattle equivalent. Roastery locations offer a bigger, more luxurious experience for coffee-lovers and sell drinks not found on regular Starbucks stores across the world.

Put in slightly less flowery tones, Starbucks has opened its biggest ever outlet in the world - a huge, 30,000 square feet (2,787 square meters) flagship operation in Shanghai, China.

The roastery will introduce coffee culture, while pursuing quality, craftsmanship and innovation.

Starbucks Shanghai
Starbucks Shanghai

"The roastery is not just a new physical environment, it is an opportunity to create a new super premium brand, Starbucks Reserve", Schultz said.

The AR experience is powered by Alibaba Group's scene-recognition technology and users can access digital experiences, such as viewing menus, ordering special coffee blends and booking customised experiences via a dedicated Roastery app or through Alibaba's Taobao app. The company is going to invest about 132 million yuan (20 million US dollars) in China over the next five years.

The Shanghai store is among five roasteries that Starbucks plans to open by 2020; the other four are expected to launch in Milan, New York, Tokyo and Chicago.

Even though Chinese are traditionally tea guzzlers and less hooked on coffee than Americans, the country's growing ranks of upwardly mobile consumers still view Starbucks as an attractive, aspirational brand.

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