Shanghai Opens World's Largest Starbucks (For Now)


The store in Shanghai is 30,000-square-foot, and it is the second Reserve Roastery of Starbucks.

The Shanghai Roastery is the first Starbucks in the world to offer an augmented reality experience to customers.

The store has a "Willy Wonka" feel, with a giant two-story cask holding tons of freshly roasted beans that are sent out to the cafe's various bars via tubing that snakes along the ceiling, while packaged beans wander around on conveyor belts.

"It's coffee as theater", added Echo Jiang, director of customer experience at the Roastery. Because you know, coffee is already such a deeply sensorial experience, even before the first sip: from hearing the unmistakable sound of beans being freshly ground, to inhaling that rich aroma and sipping your flawless blend, brewed just right. In addition to being able to place an order and pay directly from their phones, customers will also be alerted digitally when their order is ready to be picked up, the release said.

Zhao Fei, a paper trader, said drink prices running up to 78 yuan ($11.80) for some coffees would scare off many Chinese customers.

Located in Shanghai's Nanjing Road, the new outlet has been aptly named Shanghai Reserve Roastery Shanghai and is twice as big as the only other Reserve Roastery in Seattle and has been described as the "first fully-immersive coffee wonderland in China".

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"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.", Howard Schultz, the founder and Chairman of the company, said on Tuesday.

The Starbucks Foundation and Starbucks China plan to make charitable donations totaling approximately $20 million USD (RMB 132 million) over the next five years to drive social impact in communities across China. The one bright spot was China, which stood out as Starbucks' fastest growing market.

The first sign of this type was opened in 2014 in the u.s. city of Seattle, where the group has its headquarters.

Looking to the future, Schultz also told CNBC's Sorkin that the US -based coffee chain could become a "cashless retailer". And on a pure design level, Shanghai Roastery is a wow. "We're a people company". The equity of the brand is based on that intimacy between our customers and our people.

Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai will be sure to astound locals when it opens-it's the equivalent of 40 average Manhattan apartments (and who knows how many Shanghai apartments).

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. Created from recycled materials using a 3-D printer and length, the tea bar is a light jade color with dark shadows to represent tea stains formed in a teapot over time. 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.