Starbucks to Go "Venti" in China

Bloomberg

Starbucks owns 3,000 stores across 136 cities, with 600 stores only in Shanghai.

The 30,000 square-foot Starbucks Reserve Roastery is Starbucks' second Reserve Roastery after its flagship Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room that opened in the company's home market of Seattle in 2014.

On Tuesday, crowds sampled fresh brews and watched beans being roasted on-site at the grand opening event for the brand's first worldwide Starbucks Reserve Roastery, focused on serving higher-end gourmet coffee. Roastery customers are invited to immerse themselves in the first Starbucks augmented reality (AR) experience - accessible through the custom-designed Roastery digital web-app platform or on Alibaba's Taobao app.

There are plans for a fancy Starbucks roastery to open in NY next year, but the company says it won't be quite as large.

"One, you must be focused on experiential retail that creates an experience in your store that becomes a destination for the customer", Johnson explained when asked about what physical retailers must consider in 2017.

Starbucks "partners" work at the Teavana tea bar in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China. Shanghai location is Starbucks' biggest store to date, and also its most advanced digitally.

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Starbucks' global growth has been sluggish recently but China could hold the answer.

The new store will roast beans on site in a massive copper cask. 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.

Four more reserve roasteries are expected to open by 2020, in Milan, New York, Chicago and Tokyo. The location has gourmet drinks - like nitrogen-infused teas - and an 88-foot-long, hand-crafted coffee bar.

But despite all of Shanghai Roastery's features, it's still a coffee shop at heart.

Green coffee is loaded in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China.

Starbucks opened its first store in China in 1999 in Beijing.

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