In 2014, Starbucks opened the first Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle, Washington. Three years later, the chain has opened its newest and largest state-of-the-art coffee complex in China. The Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai covers an astonishing 30,000 square feet — twice the size of the Seattle Roastery and the equivalent of 40 average New York City apartments.
“The affinity we have built with our 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,” Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz said in a statement. “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.”
When customers walk through the doors, they’ll be faced with an intricate two-story, 40-ton copper cask with over 1,000 traditional Chinese stamps hand-engraved by Chinese artisans. At three coffee bars — one of which is 88 feet long — and a Teavana bar made from 3-D-printed recycled materials, thirsty patrons can choose from over 100 varieties of coffee and specially crafted tea.
For hungry guests: Princi Bakery, which just made its debut at the Seattle Roastery, will operate out of the Shanghai Roastery as well. More than 80 artisanal menu items designed by Rocco Princi will be baked on site daily by a team of 30 bakers and chefs. Some items customers can expect include flaky cornetti and focaccia sandwiches filled with Parma ham and Italian mozzarella.
While the Roastery’s size may at first seem overwhelming, the company is offering its first-ever in-store augmented reality experience, which acts as an interactive tour guide for patrons itching to learn more about what goes on inside the building. By downloading the app — designed by Starbucks and powered by Alibaba — users can then point their phones at key features around the roastery for information on Starbucks “bean-to-cup” story.
This marks Starbucks’ first international Reserve Roastery. Others are slated to open in Milan, Tokyo, and New York in 2018, and Chicago in 2019. For more on the Seattle-based coffee chain, here are 20 things you didn’t know about Starbucks.