Starbucks Adds Augmented Reality to Shanghai Roastery

China, a traditionally tea-drinking nation, is embracing coffee in the metropolis of Shanghai as the country stands to become the largest market for Starbucks.

Starbucks says the shop includes hundreds of baristas, freshly baked goods and pays homage to the culture of China. Customers can book coffee tasting experiences on Alibaba's e-commerce site and also buy special Starbucks Reserve coffee and related products tied to the store's launch.

Starbucks now has over 3,000 of its stores in China, with 600 in the city of Shanghai alone - and the company hopes to outpace its growth in the USA with plans to open at least a store a day nationwide.

"Our commitment, together with our Roastery opening, epitomizes how Starbucks is doubling-down on the unprecedented opportunities we see in the future for Starbucks and China", Wong said.

It wouldn't come as a surprise if this "friendship" and "shared values" resulted in key partnerships that would tremendously benefit the Starbucks brand in China, which helping Ma leverage Starbucks' considerable presence in the United States and other key markets.

Starbucks is exploring "a range of options" for delivery, said Mr Johnson, who declined to specify when the service might begin.

"We firmly believe it is our role and responsibility to use our scale to give back to the communities as we continue to grow in China, and with the people of China", Belinda Wong, CEO of Starbucks China, said in a statement.

'I look forward to seeing Princi's success in Seattle further extend to our roastery in Shanghai'. The company has already inked a deal for an enormous 43,000-square-foot Reserve Roastery in Chicago that's set to open in 2019. 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. Created from recycled materials using a 3-D printer and 25-ft.in length, the tea bar is a light jade color with dark shadows to represent tea stains formed in a teapot over time. The Roastery's digital experience is designed by Starbucks and powered by Alibaba Group's scene-recognition technology. They even take Starbucks selfies.

Vanessa Coleman

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