Shanghai's Starbucks Mega-Store Opening With an Eye On Digital Distillation

Shanghai's Starbucks Mega-Store Opening With an Eye On Digital Distillation

Opening Tuesday in the Chinese city is Starbucks' second Reserve Roastery, a "megastore" that is more of a mecca for coffee lovers than a traditional cafe.

Starbucks says the shop includes hundreds of baristas, freshly baked goods and pays homage to the culture of China.

Starbucks said the flagship store provides a "multi-sensory retail experience", with consumers provided access to the roasting, packaging and brewing of coffee, while they indulge in a line of premium coffee called Reserve. Customers can book coffee tasting experiences on Alibaba's e-commerce site and also buy special Starbucks Reserve coffee and related products tied to the store's launch.

Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) will open its biggest café in the world in Shanghai on Wednesday in a bid to maintain its upscale reputation in the increasingly important Chinese market.

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"Our commitment, together with our Roastery opening, epitomizes how Starbucks is doubling-down on the unprecedented opportunities we see in the future for Starbucks and China", Wong said.

"Jack and I have spoken about a lot of different things", he said, referring to Alibaba chairman Jack Ma, when asked whether the partnership could extend beyond mobile payment services.

The Shanghai location is just one of five Roasteries expected to open before 2020. Starbucks said that the shape was inspired by an espresso machine. Starbucks now runs 3,000 stores in China, where it claims to be opening "a store every 15 hours".

Roasted coffee spills into a cooling tray in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China.

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Starbucks' Shanghai Roastery has three coffee experience bars, one of which is a whopping 88 feet long, the longest Starbucks coffee bar in the world. Roasteries are now slated to open in Milan and NY in 2018 and in Tokyo and Chicago in 2019. 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.

There's a team of more than 30 skilled Chinese bakers and chefs who bring artisan baking to life using premium ingredients sourced specifically for each fresh food offering.

People gather in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China.

Diners need only point their phones at items within the Roastery to get more information about them and Starbucks' history.

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