Published: Thu, December 07, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Futuristic Starbucks Roastery opens today in Shanghai

Futuristic Starbucks Roastery opens today in Shanghai

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.

The experience also extends to Alibaba's online marketplace, Tmall, allowing customers to purchase Shanghai Roastery and Reserve branded merchandise and whole bean coffee for delivery directly to their homes, or to register for specially-curated coffee tasting experiences that can be enjoyed at the Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai.

The store in Shanghai is only one of the five Roasteries that were expected to open before 2020.

If a customer doesn't have the application downloaded, or access to the web app, they can still scan QR codes located around the roaster for more information.

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. One of the key features of the store is the ceiling, which is made of 10,000 handmade wooden hexagon-shaped tiles, inspired by the locking of an espresso shot on an espresso machine.

If you've ever wondered what "symphony pipes" are, then wonder no more.

The venti sized outlet is called the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai. As of now, China is the company's second-largest market in the world with 3,000 stores.

As customers enter the new Roastery, they are greeted by the sight of a two-story, copper cask, adorned with more than 1,000 traditional Chinese chops (or stamps) that have been hand-engraved to narrate the story of Starbucks and coffee.

The store's boasting rights as the world's largest won't last long, though.

Sounding more and more like a coffee-themed amusement park, customers can also use their phones to enhance their experience once they've gotten their caffeine fix - "All along the way, customers can point their mobile devices around the Roastery for even more moments of discovery as they immerse themselves in the augmented reality (AR) experience". The app includes a digital menu and provides details of brewing techniques and various company offerings.

Belinda Wong, the CEO of Starbucks China, explains that Starbucks Reserve Roastery isn't just a store but "carries the dreams of 40,000 partners", in other words their China-based employees. During their journey, customers can earn virtual badges.

A new hotel opens in China every 15 hours, ensures the american group.

Customers standing in front of the roasting cask at the first Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Asia will see a two-story copper vessel adorned with almost 3,000 hand-carved traditional Chinese chops or stamps.

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