And Starbucks is playing to that image with this new shop in Shanghai.
Ramping up its focus on China, Starbucks is opening its biggest cafe in the world in Shanghai on Wednesday.
The Shanghai Roastery will also be the first of Starbucks' 27,000 locations worldwide, and the first of its kind in China, to seamlessly integrate a real-time, in-store and online customer experience, powered by Alibaba's Mobile Taobao app and the company's augmented-reality (AR) technology.
As customers enter the new Roastery, they are greeted by the sight of a two-story, copper cask, adorned with more than 1,000 traditional Chinese chops (or stamps) that have been hand-engraved to narrate the story of Starbucks and coffee. At more than twice the size of the original Reserve facility, the Shanghai roastery will be followed by additional Starbucks Reserve roasteries in New York, Chicago, Tokyo and Milan.
Starbucks furnishes the Shanghai Roastery with Chinese culture-rich decor, blended with the latest trend of augmented reality.
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Here's what it's like to visit the Shanghai Roastery, the most over-the-top Starbucks in the world. The location has gourmet drinks - like nitrogen-infused teas - and an 88-foot-long, hand-crafted coffee bar.
But, if you'd rather have tea, you can get that too. Tea products are a struggling subsidiary that Starbucks is eager to revive. The company announced plans in July to buy out its partners in its Each China joint venture, for US$1.3 billion. It also sold Tazo, another tea brand, to Unilever in November.
Starbucks sees China surpassing the U.S.as its largest market within a decade as it counts on the country's affluent consumers to offset stagnant growth in the rest of the world. Sales in same-stores were up by 8% in China in the most recent quarter, in comparison to an increase globally of just 2%.
"The affinity we have built with our partners (employees) and customers over the past 18 years in China is special", said Howard Schultz, executive chairman of Starbucks Coffee Company in a statement.
Starbucks opened its first store in China in 1999 in Beijing.