Inside the 30000-Square-Foot Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai

Inside the 30000-Square-Foot Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai

Inside the 30000-Square-Foot Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai

China is the company's fastest-growing market with more than 3,000 stores across 136 cities.

In major news for Chinese coffee lovers, Starbucks Coffee Company is set to open its new Starbucks Reserve Roastery tomorrow, December 6th, in Shanghai.

On Tuesday, crowds sampled fresh brews and watched beans being roasted on-site at the grand opening event for the brand's first global Starbucks Reserve Roastery, focused on serving higher-end gourmet coffee.

Starbucks is partnering with Alibaba Group, owner of the South China Morning Post, to create what it is calling its "immersive AR experience" for customers, run on Alibaba's Taobao shopping app, which allows, for instance, digital menus and ordering, insights into its brewing methods, and merchandising.

"With the rising middle class and the opportunity in China, the market is going to be much larger here", he said, adding Starbucks was looking to hit 10,000 outlets in China within a decade, catching up with the U.S. in terms of stores. "Strengthening partner-driven and locally-relevant community engagement" are just some of the buzzwords floating around the new initiative, which will see the introduction of Yunnan Reserve coffee, grown in Pu'er, exclusively at the Shanghai Reserve Roastery. This includes over 600 stores in Shanghai - the largest number of stores in any city where Starbucks has a presence.

In China, Starbucks' young baristas and shift supervisors receive a housing allowance subsidy, Wong said.

On Wednesday, Starbucks is opening its biggest cafe in the world in Shanghai.

The roaster also plans to roll out mobile ordering and delivery of drinks and store goods in China, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Johnson said in an interview in Shanghai.

Princi baked items are shown in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China. The 30,000 square-feet store - about half the size of a soccer field - is part of upscale moves championed by founder and Chairman Howard Schultz. A standard latte at the coffee chain is already pricier than fresh brews at many local cafes in Shanghai.

Despite a long, proud history of tea drinking and the fact that a tall latte costs as much as $4.69 in China, people have taken to coffee and culture of Starbucks with its specialty drinks and free Wi-Fi and bathrooms. It had 8 percent same-store sales growth in the most recent quarter in China (compared to 2 percent in the U.S.) and it announced that it was buying out its joint venture partner in east China for about $1.3 billion.

Starbucks opened its first store in China in 1999 in Beijing.

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