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Starbucks opens in China its largest coffee in the world

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Perk Up Shanghai Crowds Throng World's Biggest Starbucks

This is a big day, literally, for coffee lovers, as the world's largest Starbucks opens its doors.

The new Starbucks-branded attraction is the first to open outside of the US and roughly twice the size of the original Reserve Roastery in Seattle.

They can have similar experiences all over the roastery, Emily Chang, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Starbucks, China, said in a company press release, "It's like Alice in Wonderland meets Willy Wonka". 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.

There's a two-story, four-ton copper cask where freshly-roasted coffee beans are stored and more than 1,000 traditional Chinese "chops" or stamps which tell the story of Starbucks. One of the key features of the store is the ceiling, which is made of 10,000 handmade wooden hexagon-shaped tiles, inspired by the locking of an espresso shot on an espresso machine.

The venti sized outlet is called the Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai.

Meanwhile, augmented reality (AR) will allow guests to point their phones at different areas throughout the store to access relevant information, including a tour breaking down how customers' coffee gets from bean to cup. Highlights include focaccia sandwiches with Parma ham, Italian mozzarella and chocolate chunk with almond cookies. We wanted to take that customer experience even further.

In addition, 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 not-to-be-missed unique online and offline experiences.

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

DIGITAL: The Shanghai Roastery is the first Starbucks location to seamlessly integrate a real-time, in-store and online customer experience.

Sounding more and more like a coffee-themed amusement park, customers can also use their phones to enhance their experience once they've gotten their caffeine fix - "All 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".

China is a vital market for Starbucks, according to John Gordon, a restaurant analyst at Pacific Management Consulting.

Starbucks has been unexpectedly successful in China - a country which is traditionally known for tea drinking - and its new half a football field long (30,000 square feet, to be precise) roastery-cum-store is the proof of it.

With a new Starbucks store opening in China every 15 hours - setting the country well on the path to surpass the U.S. total number of stores within a decade - it's clear that those dreams are going to keep growing at an extraordinary rate.

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