The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai threw its doors open to coffee lovers on the 6th of December, welcoming guests to the largest Starbucks store in the world by far. Sprawled over 30,000 sq.ft. on NanJing Road, the main shopping street of Shanghai, the store is double the size of their first Roastery located in Seattle.

Given the fact that China is currently the largest market for Starbucks with new stores opening every 15 hours and Shanghai alone boasts over 600 Starbucks outlets, the largest number in any city, it comes as no surprise that the brand has gone all out to establish a coffee paradise of unprecedented attractions in this city. This Roastery is equipped to give its customers the best possible coffee experience through its innovative design, unique new beverage menu, state-of-the-art virtual activities, decadent artisan foods and much more.

The store design is a tribute to the Chinese architectural aesthetics with large, thick entrance doors resembling Chinese temples, handcrafted Chinese stamps narrating the story of Starbucks and the longest Coffee Experience Bar in any Starbucks store measuring 88 feet long and handcrafted by premiere Chinese artisans. The store design was created especially for China and will never be used at another Starbucks.

The ceiling of the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai features a raceway of copper pneumatic tubes that deliver roasted and rested beans to leather baskets at the coffee bars ready for baristas to scoop and grind.

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The customers will be served coffees from a special menu with a variety of roasts to choose from, including the Yunnan Reserve coffee. The customers can choose any one of six special brewing methods or brew their coffee. The store also has the first Teavana Bar of China as a tribute to the Chinese tea culture. The bar is made entirely out of recycled 3D printed materials, the first of its kind in the world.  Customers will also be able to choose eatables from the acclaimed Princi bakery located in the store with a menu of over 80 items freshly baked on site.

Starbucks Shanghai
Workers process coffee in the shadow of an enormous 40-ton kettle clad in carved copper panels, where beans rest after roasting.

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However, the mouth-watering food and mesmerizing architectural features are not the only things on offer at the Roastery. The customers will get to immerse themselves in the Starbucks Augmented Reality (AR) experience accessible through their smartphones. They can go on their own customised coffee journey in the store by pointing their phones at key features and bringing them to life and participate in other online and offline activities. There are badges to be earned and unique Roastery filters to be won which can be shared on social media platforms; After all, where’s the fun in visiting the largest Starbucks Roastery on the planet if one can’t boast about it online?

Starbucks Shanghai
The Shanghai Roastery includes a Teavana bar and features an on-site bakery.

This glamorous coffee nirvana has the best of both worlds- it seamlessly blends pieces from the rich heritage of China with moderns technological features to give their customers an experience worth every penny and has set the standards for artisanal coffee shops unbelievably high. What’s more, it looks like Starbucks is just getting started. Lavish plans are already in place for additional Roasteries in Chicago, New York, Milan, and Tokyo. What remains to be seen is if they can outdo the extravagance at Shanghai.

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