Today's picks

    Welcome to the world’s largest Starbucks

    With a 3D-printed tea bar, freshly baked Italian artisanal food and a multi-sensory coffee experience, it sounds like a high-end cafe.
    But this luxurious haven is actually the world’s largest Starbucks.
    Located in Shanghai, the coffee giant has opened it’s second state-of-the-art Starbucks Reserve Roastery in the traditionally tea-drinking nation of China.
    As coffee lovers step through the front doors of the 30,000 square feet store, they are greeted by the stunning sight of a two-story copper cask, adorned with more than 1,000 traditional Chinese chops, or stamps, hand-engraved to narrate the story of the company.
    The ceiling has been decked out with 10,000 handmade wooden hexagon-shaped tiles, inspired by the locking of an espresso shot on an espresso machine.
    In an interactive coffee and retail destination like no other, customers can visit many attractions of the store, including one of three coffee bars offering multiple brewing methods and explore specially-crafted teas.
    With futuristic features, customers can point their mobile devices around the roastery for even more moments of discovery as they immerse themselves in the augmented reality experience.
    ‘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,’ Starbucks executive chairman Howard Schultz said.
    Customers can watch the beans get roasted, then sent through copper ‘symphony’ pipes – named because of the musical sound the beans make as they travel through them – before being served a fresh cup of coffee.
    Adding a touch of Asia, diners can pick from 100 beverages from the menu, including coffee from China’s Yunnan Province – a rare, exquisite, yellow honey-processed cup of coffee.
    Inspired by the traditional clay teapots in China, the tea experience bar is a light jade color with dark shadows to represent tea stains formed in a teapot over time. It is also the only tea bar created from recycled materials using a 3-D printer, measuring 7.5 metres (25 feet) in length.
    The Shanghai Roastery has become the first-of-its kind in China, to seamlessly integrate a real-time, in-store and online customer experience.
    Customers can simply point their phones at key features around the roastery to bring to life information about the Starbucks bean-to-cup story.
    Asia will get an exclusive taste of Italian food purveyor Rocco Princi’s artisanal baked goods.
    ‘Rocco and his team’s passion for handcrafted food and artisanal baked goods at Princi mirrors how I feel about our coffee,’ Mr Schultz said. 
    ‘His attention to detail, meticulous care in selecting the freshest, high-quality ingredients and the artistry of preparation creates an Italian food experience that perfectly pairs with our most premium coffees. 
    ‘I look forward to seeing Princi’s success in Seattle further extend to our roastery in Shanghai.’
    There’s a team of more than 30 skilled Chinese bakers and chefs who bring artisan baking to life using premium ingredients sourced specifically for each fresh food offering.
    The menu includes more than 80 different foods, catering for breakfast, lunch and dinner – from flaky cornetti to focaccia sandwiches filled with Parma ham and Italian mozzarella.
    Starbucks opened its first roastery in its Seattle hometown three years ago.