Coffee addicts, you may want to sit down for this: Starbucks is openingits largest location yet, a 30,000 sq-ft. space in Shanghai promising a multi-sensory coffee experience. Think Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, but with caffeine instead of sugar.
At the new location, opening Dec. 6 and called the Reserve Roastery Shanghai, customers will be able to explore all the high-tech bells and whistles Starbucks has created. Attractions will include three coffee bars and a 3-D printed tea bar. At the coffee bars, hundreds of baristas will handcraft some of the rarest, small-lot coffees in the world using one of six brewing methods.
Upon initial entry, visitors can marvel at the location's grandiose two stories, filled floor to ceiling with over 1,000 traditional Chinese stamps—hand-engraved to tell the history of Starbucks and coffee, of course.
The company is raising the bar some more with advanced technology in the new location, too. While customers explore, they can point their mobile devices at various features around the store to bring to life details about the Starbucks bean-to-cup story.
Further, visitors can create their own “discovery journey” through Starbucks' digital app that allows you to unlock a virtual badge. Once all badges are earned, they'll receive a custom roastery filter to share on social media. How very savvy!
“The affinity we have built with our partners (employees) and customers over the past 18 years in China is special and we knew we must bring the Reserve Roastery, our boldest, most premium store ever, to Shanghai, China's bustling metropolitan hub and one of the world's most dynamic retail destinations, as well as a gateway to customers from across Asia and the world,” said Howard Schultz, executive chairman of Starbucks Coffee Company. “We’ve created a space that both recognizes and celebrates our 46-year history of coffee leadership and retail innovation with China's rich, diverse culture.”
And coffee drinkers may want to expand their palates: The location will pay tribute to China's prominent tea culture with the Teavana tea bar, where you can watch the brewing methods unfold before your eyes on a tea bar made from totally recycled materials using a 3-D printer.
Is it too late to put a plane ticket to Shanghai on your wish list?