Starbucks launches AR experience in Shanghai

Perk Up Shanghai Crowds Throng World's Biggest Starbucks

It's first flagship Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room opened in its home market of Seattle in 2014.

The Shanghai Roastery will be the first Starbucks location to seamlessly integrate a real-time, online-offline customer experience.

Starbucks is betting China's hunger for luxury goods is transferable to coffee.

The cafe spans 2,700 square metres (30,000 square feet) - almost half the area of a soccer field - and is the company's second Starbucks Reserve Roastery, a larger type of store featuring premium coffees, teas, and coffee-infused beer along with a personalised barista service.

China might seem like an odd place to open the world's biggest and arguably flashiest Starbucks, given the country's traditional warm beverage has always been tea, not coffee.

According to CNN, the beloved Seattle-based coffee company has opened a 30,000-square-foot Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai, China.

Dubbed the "first fully immersive coffee wonderland in China", it's something of a caffeine-fueled Disneyland.

The store has a "Willy Wonka" feel, with a giant two-story cask holding tons of freshly roasted beans that are sent out to the cafe's various bars via tubing that snakes along the ceiling, while packaged beans wander around on conveyor belts.

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"It's that unfiltered wonder, which overcomes even the most jaded, that really defines 'customer delight, ' " she said.

Guests can virtually see them resting before they are whisked through copper pipes to the coffee bars, and they can read about the process a bean goes through on the way to becoming a cup of coffee. A pair of massive black cast iron ovens will bake up to 80 different products daily.

The chocolate chunk with almond cookies look especially tempting - but at 38RMB, or $5.75 each - they should be. We wanted to take that customer experience even further.

The store is able to hold 1,000 to 1,200 customers at a time and has around 500 chairs on the site.

The store's boasting rights as the world's largest won't last long, though.

As if all this wasn't enough already, the store also has China's first Starbucks Teavana bar, which is made from 3D-printed recycled materials and serves nitrogen-infused tea. The app includes a digital menu and provides details of brewing techniques and various company offerings. The opening of a premium Reserve roastery in Shanghai is expected to increase Starbucks's brand image and drive its SSSG.

"It's obvious to us that the holding power of China for Starbucks is going to be much more significant than the holding power of the U.S.", Howard Schultz, the founder and Chairman of the company, said on Tuesday.

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