Starbucks has opened its largest ever Reserve Roastery in one of its largest single markets with a 2700 square metre location in Shanghai, China. China is Starbucks fastest growing market with a store opening every 15 hours, and Shanghai is its busiest single city in the world, with more than 600 Starbucks stores located there. As customers enter the Roastery, they’ll be greeted by the stunning sight of a two-story copper cask, adorned with more than 1000 traditional Chinese chops, or stamps, hand-engraved to narrate the story of Starbucks and coffee. As part of their experience, customers can visit many attractions including one of three coffee bars offering multiple brewing methods, explore specially-crafted teas at the 3-D printed tea bar, enjoy freshly baked Italian artisanal food by Princi, and marvel at the ceiling made of 10,000 handmade wooden hexagon-shaped tiles, inspired by the locking of an espresso shot on an espresso machine. Along the way, customers can point their mobile devices around the Roastery for even more moments of discovery as they immerse themselves in the augmented reality (AR) experience. Integrating this technology into the store in one of the world’s busiest shopping destinations, makes it one of the most advanced digital locations for Starbucks in the world. “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 recognises and celebrates our 46-year history of coffee leadership and retail innovation with China’s rich, diverse culture.” For the first time ever, unique, small-lot Reserve coffee which Starbucks sources from more than 30 countries around the world, including coffee from China’s Yunnan Province, will be roasted in China by eight highly trained Chinese coffee roasters – passing on 46 years of Starbucks roasting expertise to the first batch of Chinese roasters. Customers can watch the green beans as they are roasted, then sent through copper “symphony” pipes (named because of the musical sound the beans make as they travel through them) directly to silos at the coffee bars, where customers can enjoy a fresh cup of Reserve coffee, or to the in-house pack line to be packaged for distribution across Starbucks Reserve stores in China. The Yunnan Reserve coffee, grown in Pu’er in Yunnan Province, is roasted and available exclusively at the Roastery in Shanghai. Since 2012, agronomists at the China Starbucks Farmer Support Center have worked closely with farmers and the government to provide resources and expertise to improve quality and promote sustainable coffee-growing practices. Like the Shanghai Roastery, the Yunnan Reserve coffee truly is made “In China, For China.” The introduction of Yunnan Reserve coffee also signifies an important step in completing the Starbucks China supply chain, delivering premium coffee from bean-to-cup, and now introducing a rare, exquisite, yellow honey-processed cup of Yunnan coffee to a global audience. The Shanghai Roastery will become the first Starbucks location, and the first-of-its kind in China, to seamlessly integrate a real-time, in-store and online customer experience. Roastery customers are invited to immerse themselves in the first Starbucks augmented reality (AR) experience – accessible through the custom-designed Roastery digital web-app platform or on Alibaba’s Taobao app – by simply pointing their mobile devices at key features around the Roastery to bring to life information about the Starbucks bean-to-cup story. To help customers create their personal Roastery discovery journeys, the Roastery digital web-app platform also incorporates a digital menu and will, intuitively through AR technology, share details of the coffee bars, brewing methods, as well as other unique online and offline experiences. This experience also extends to Alibaba’s online marketplace, Tmall, allowing customers to purchase Shanghai Roastery and Reserve branded merchandise and whole bean coffee for delivery directly to their homes, or to register for specially curated coffee tasting experiences that can be enjoyed at the Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai.