Tomorrow, the doors of Starbucks' largest location will open, and those who are lucky enough to step inside will be met with what the company is calling a "fully immersive coffee wonderland." No, this isn't your run-of-the-mill cafe, it's a massive Starbucks Reserve Roastery, and it's opening in Shanghai.
Like with every Roastery, this one offers each customer a multi-sensory coffee experience, but it's the Shanghai Roastery's size that sets it apart. It's located in a 30,000 square-foot space and takes up two stories. For now, this is the biggest Starbucks location in the world. However, it's set to be surpassed by the 43,000-square-foot Chicago location. Shanghai will enjoy the top spot for a while, though, as the 4-story Chicago Roastery won't open until 2019.
The sprawling includes China's first Starbucks Teavana Bar. There will also be three coffee bars, one of which is 88 feet long, and the longest at any Starbucks location in the world. The Shanghai Roastery even offers treats for the eyes with its many design details like the 10,000 handmade wooden hexagon-shaped tiles covering the ceiling and the 1,000 traditional Chinese stamps featured on copper cask.
For foodies, the highlight of the Shanghai Reserve Roastery experience will be Princi pastries, pizzas, and bread. Starbucks announced its partnership with Princi, an Italian bakery run by Rocco Princi, a little over a year ago. The coffee company plans for Princi to become the exclusive food option in all new Starbucks Reserve Roastery locations. That plan was officially kicked off last month with the Princi unveiling in Starbucks' original Roastery in Seattle. Now, Shanghai's will become the second Roastery to offer the "Spirito di Milano." There, 30 bakers and chefs will offer more than 80 different menu items made from recipes created by Princi himself.
Despite the wealth of information Starbucks has shared about its latest Roastery location we are left with a couple of questions. First, how large can a Starbucks location get? And will the next Roastery location feature the entire coffee process from farm to cup, like the new Eataly World in Bologna?