Dec 5, 2017 | By Julia

In major news for Chinese coffee lovers, Starbucks Coffee Company is set to open its new Starbucks Reserve Roastery tomorrow, December 6th, in Shanghai. Marketed as the first fully immersive coffee experience in Asia, the Roastery is already rounding out to be Starbucks’ most ambitious project ever. Major attractions of the new 2,700 square-meter espresso wonderland include a two-story copper cask, three different coffee bars, an integrated augmented reality (AR) experience, and a 3D printed tea bar.

While Starbucks may no longer hold the monopoly it once did over the American coffee market, the international cafe chain is doing remarkably well in China, where it first set up shop in 1999. Now, nearly 20 years later, China is Starbucks’ fastest growing market, with a new store opening every 15 hours.

As executive chairman Howard Schultz notes, Starbucks’ success in China presents an unparalleled opportunity for the global consumer brand. “The affinity we have built with our partners (employees) and customers over the past 18 years in China is special,” says Schultz, who notes that the metropolitan hub and consumer gateway Shanghai is the perfect location for the new premium store. With the Reserve Roastery, Schultz says, “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.”

That celebration goes well beyond the glitz of the new experiential marketing site. As part of the Reserve Roastery’s grand opening, The Starbucks Foundation and Starbucks China have announced their plan to donate $20 million USD (RMB 132 million) over the next five years to drive social impact in communities across China. The charitable donation is part of the Starbucks Foundation’s ongoing commitment to contribute meaningful and enduring social impact through poverty alleviation. “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.

But let’s get back to the specs. When customers enter the massive new Roastery building, which measures up at 2,700 square-meters (30,000 square-feet), they’ll be greeted by a two-story copper cask adorned with over a thousand hand-engraved Chinese stamps, collectively narrating the story of Starbucks coffee. Three wooden coffee bars stretching up to 27 meters (88 feet) long and handcrafted by Chinese artisans will serve as the stage for hundreds of baristas and six brewing methods: ModBar Pour Over, Chemex, Coffee Press, Siphon, Espresso and the proprietary Clover-brewed coffee. Customers will be able to watch green beans being roasted and sent through copper “symphony” pipes, where they’ll end up either in silos at the Roaster’s coffee bars or in the in-house distribution line for packaging.

Next up is the 3D printed Teavana Bar, which Starbucks is calling an entirely modern tea experience specifically designed for Chinese customers. Using fine tea ingredients, the bar’s “tea curators” will handcraft new brews through Starbucks’ classic tea mixology, as well as using more surprising processes such as nitrogen and tea. The tea bar itself is quite the marvel, as the only tea bar 3D printed from recycled materials, boasting a light jade colour with dark shadows to represent tea stains formed over time in a teapot.

Throughout the Reserve Roastery, customers will also be able to point their mobile devices at key features to unlock an immersive AR experience. Available on the custom-designed Roastery digital web app platform and Alibaba’s Taobao app, the AR platform will incorporate a digital menu and share details of the coffee bars and brewing methods, in addition to other online and offline experiences. Each step of the way, customers unlock virtual badges that, at the end, can be redeemed for the Roaster’s custom social media filter.

All in all, the multi-sensory experience should certainly be a force to be reckoned with. Located strategically at 789 Nanjing Road W. on one of the busiest shopping streets in the world, the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery is set to make a serious impact, both in China and beyond. Check it out for yourself starting December 6th.

 

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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