Just when you thought this city couldn’t possibly get any better, the world’s largest Starbucks opens up on Nanjing Road.
A press release describes the new Starbucks Reserve Roastery Shanghai as the company’s “most ambitious project ever” and as offering the “first fully immersive coffee experience in Asia.” Basically, it’s like the Willy Wonka Chocolate Factory of coffee shops.
The Roastery takes up a whopping 30,000 square feet of space on Nanjing Xi Lu, making it roughly 15 times the size of your average Starbucks location and twice as big as the company’s first roastery, opened in Seattle in 2014.
Inside the intricately-decorated wonderland of caffeinated beverages, you’ll find an 88-foot-long coffee bar, an in-house artisanal bakery, and the pièce de résistance, a magnificent two-story roasting cask engraved with more than 1,000 traditional Chinese stamps.
If this all seems a bit overwhelming, Alibaba is here again to help. Visitors to the Roastery can use the Taobao app to explore the store in augmented reality with digital menus providing details about the various beverages on offer. And if that still seems like a tad too much for the senses, you can also visit the store virtually on Tmall and have coffee beans delivered straight to your door. Truly, we live in the best of times.
The ultra-opulent Roastery is just the most audacious part of Starbucks’ grand plans for China, where every 15 hours a new location is opening up. By 2020, the company hopes to have 5,000 shops around the country.
Already, the chain has succeeded in taking over Shanghai where there are now some 600 Starbucks scattered across the city. This newest one is located on 789 Nanjing Xi Lu and officially opened today. If you’re looking for an “interactive coffee and retail experience like no other,” we suggest you head over. If you’re instead looking for a quiet cup of joe, it might be best to try elsewhere.