Lonely Planet Writer

Starbucks promises a multi-sensory experience at its largest store to date in Shanghai

Coffee aficionados heading to China may be interested to learn that Starbucks has opened its largest location yet – a 30,000 square foot space in Shanghai that offers a multi-sensory coffee experience.

Inside the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai. Image: Joshua Trujillo / Starbucks Newsroom

The Starbucks Reserve Roastery, the first of its kind in Asia, introduces visitors to a fully immersive coffee wonderland of roasting and brewing, Italian baking and local craftsmanship. It’s home to three coffee experience bars, one of which is 88 feet long, making it the longest Starbucks coffee bar in the world. Specially trained coffee roasters prepare the beans next to a two-storey copper cask, which weighs 40 tonnes. It is covered with 1000 hand-carved traditional Chinese chops, or stamps, that tell the story of Starbucks.

Inside the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai. Image: Joshua Trujillo/Starbucks Newsroom

At the coffee bars, hundreds of baristas handcraft some of the rarest, small-lot coffees in the world using one of six brewing methods. If you are a tea-lover, you can watch the brewing methods used at The Teavana tea bar, which is made from totally recycled materials using a 3D printer. Over 100 beverages are available from the Roastery menu, including Teavana tea infused with nitrogen.

Specially trained coffee roasters prepare the beans next to a two-storey copper cask, which weighs 40 tonnes. Image: Joshua Trujillo/Starbucks Newsroom

More than 80 different items are baked onsite daily at the Princi bakery, the first in Asia, which is the exclusive food pairing partner at Starbucks Roasteries. Technology at the new Starbucks allows visitors to point their phones at various locations to get an insider’s digital look with state-of-the-art augmented reality technology. This includes virtually peeking inside the massive copper roasting cask and finding out about brewing methods.

The Princi bakery is the exclusive food pairing partner at Starbucks Roasteries. Image: Joshua Trujillo / Starbucks Newsroom

Some of the key design features in the new Starbucks include a ceiling consisting of 10,000 handmade wooden hexagon-shaped tiles. These were inspired by the locking of an espresso shot on an espresso machine.

Inside the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai. Image: Joshua Trujillo / Starbucks Newsroom

China is Starbucks’ fastest growing market with a new store opening there every 15 hours. The Shanghai location is the first Starbucks Reserve Roastery outside the US, and additional roasteries are scheduled to open in Milan and New York in 2018, and Tokyo and Chicago in 2019.