World's largest Starbucks opens in China and it's 30000 square feet


The world's biggest Starbucks officially opened today in Shanghai and who should be in attendance but singer, dancer, and tai chi master Jack Ma.

Dubbed the "first fully immersive coffee wonderland in China", it's something of a caffeine-fueled Disneyland.

And consider your pumpkin spice latte forgotten - at what we're calling the Starbucks of the future, "eight highly trained Chinese coffee roasters will be roasting unique, small-lot Reserve coffee which Starbucks sources from more than 30 countries around the world, including China's Yunnan Province".

Starbucks debuted its upscale Roastery format three years ago, in its Seattle hometown.

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With this new AR feature, guests can virtually see the animated beans rest before being whisked through copper pipes to the coffee bars, as they read about the process of turning a bean into a cup of coffee.

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 café's various bars through tubing that snakes along the ceiling while packaged beans wander around on conveyor belts.

But the Shanghai Roastery won't hold the title of largest Starbucks for too long.

Once you get behind its enormous thick wooden doors, which are curved like a roasted coffee bean, there are two floors of theatrical, interactive entertainment.

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Trays of temptation sit everywhere, filled with Italian-style croissant called cornetti, breads studded with olives, tomatoes and fresh herbs and even a gourmet take on cinnamon rolls.

Starbucks already has more than 3,000 of its standard cafes in 136 Chinese cities, including more than 600 in Shanghai alone, the largest number of stores in any city in the world. Customers can point their mobile devices at key features around the Roastery to immerse themselves in Starbuck's first augmented reality (AR) experience, which is accessible through the custom-designed Roastery digital web-app platform or on Alibaba's Taobao app.

At the first Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Asia, a guest would normally see a two-story copper roasting cask adorned with almost 3,000 hand-carved Chinese stamps. The app includes a digital menu and provides details of brewing techniques and various company offerings. During their journey, customers can earn virtual badges.

Chairman Howard Schultz told Bloomberg News that China is on its way to become the company's largest market in less than a decade."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 United States", he added. Since 2016, it has been on pace to open an average of one new store every day for five years, CNN reported.

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