Starbucks Opens Premium Reserve Roastery in China

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The first Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room outside the United States opened in Shanghai Tuesday.

It will be the second of its kind worldwide, offering customers the chance to actually watch coffee beans being roasted live in-store.

It's also Starbucks' first store to utilize augmented reality technology: Customers can point their mobile phones at various items inside the store to access more information about their coffee and to unlock "virtual badges" to share on social media.

What would a supermarket-size coffee shop look like?

"We've created a space that both recognizes and celebrates our 46-year history of coffee leadership and retail innovation with China's rich, diverse culture", Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz said.

Starbucks opens its biggest store to date in Shanghai
Starbucks opens its largest store to date in Shanghai. Starbucks opens its biggest store to date in Shanghai

A country known for guzzling tea has just become home to the world's largest Starbucks.

On offer will be around 80 new coffee and tea products unique to the store and dominating the new Roastery will be a two-story copper roasting cask adorned with more than 1,000 traditional Chinese chops, or stamps, narrating the story of Starbucks and coffee.

You'd think the USA, with its love for coffee that gets separated into dedicated seasons like pumpkin spice and peppermint mocha, would be in the running for the title of Starbucks Capital of the World.

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. "With over 3,000 stores, you might ask yourself, how much growth is there left for Starbucks in China?" asked Schultz. Last quarter, China posted an 8 percent increase, compared with a 3 percent gain in the USA, excluding impacts from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. There are 3,000 Starbucks in China now. The company has already inked a deal for an enormous 43,000-square-foot Reserve Roastery in Chicago that's set to open in 2019.

The Roastery will also feature China's first Starbucks Teavana Bar, where customers can select a Teavana signature pure tea or blend, served either hot or iced.

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