Starbucks opens its largest location in China

Inside the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai

Inside the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai

Starbucks has showcased its first overseas roastery and its world's largest store in Shanghai, as it expressed strong confidence in.

The Starbucks Roastery follows Smith & Sinclair's "experiential" chocolate shop in Britain's John Lewis, and the sensor-decked NikeLab in London and NY stores previous year. The ceiling, according to a news release, is made of "10,000 handmade wooden hexagon-shaped tiles, inspired by the locking of an espresso shot on an espresso machine".

The one bright spot was China, which stood out as Starbucks' fastest growing market.

"It's obvious to us that the holding power of China for Starbucks is going to be much more significant than the holding power of the U.S.", Schultz said Tuesday at a briefing to unveil the new cafe.

At the Shanghai Roastery, Italian baker Rocco Princi brings his artisanal offerings to Asia for the first time.

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Thus, Starbucks envisages making mainland China a vital market by opening 5,000 cafes there by 2021.

One of its three coffee bars is 88-feet long, the longest Starbucks bar in the world - because waiting in line is so 2016. The first Starbucks Reserve Roastery opened in the company's home city of Seattle. Using fine tea ingredients, the bar's "tea curators" will handcraft new brews through Starbucks' classic tea mixology, as well as using more surprising processes such as nitrogen and tea.

Starbucks is partnering with Alibaba Group, owner of the South China Morning Post, to create what it is calling its "immersive AR experience" for customers, run on Alibaba's Taobao shopping app, which allows, for instance, digital menus and ordering, insights into its brewing methods, and merchandising.

But despite all of Shanghai Roastery's features, it's still a coffee shop at heart. Each step of the way, customers unlock a virtual badge and once all badges are earned, they receive a custom Roastery filter to commemorate the moment and share on social media. 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.

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