Starbucks Coffee Company opened its 100th store in Beijing, China, while also announcing the launch of Starbucks China University. “China is a focal point of our global expansion efforts,” said Belinda Wong, President, Starbucks China, in a statement. “Beijing is where we started our journey in China.” Starbucks has announced that China will be its second largest market by 2014 and will have 1500 stores by 2015 across more than 70 cities. The 100th store in Beijing is located at the Solana International Business District, and is staffed by 'Starbucks Coffee Masters', baristas who have completed a certification process and wear a Black Apron to signify their coffee skills and knowledge training. “Our passion and pursuit for high-quality Arabica coffee is how we have built our company and the Starbucks brand the past 41 years,” said Wong. “Our partners are at the heart of everything we do in our stores in China, and the certified Coffee Masters leading this store will introduce customers to even more unique elements of the espresso experience, demonstrating and defining our coffee leadership position in China.” To become a Coffee Master, staff undergo a vigorous training and skills examination, acquiring coffee knowledge spanning from coffee history, geography, agriculture to coffee sourcing, green coffee bean quality control, and Starbucks coffee roasting and blending, the company said. Starbucks Coffee Masters renew their certifications regularly. This 100th store will see staff use the manually operated La Marzocco espresso machine. Each Starbucks Coffee Master is also trained in latte art. Starbucks also announced that the company has initiated its first class through the Starbucks China University. The Starbucks China University curriculum is designed to advance the personal and career development of Starbucks partners across China, including leadership skills as well as understanding of Starbucks coffee craftsmanship and culture.