At 30,000 square feet, the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai is the company's largest location in the world.
Starbucks has been unexpectedly successful in China - a country which is traditionally known for tea drinking - and its new half a football field long (30,000 square feet, to be precise) roastery-cum-store is the proof of it.
DIGITAL: The Shanghai Roastery is the first Starbucks location to seamlessly integrate a real-time, in-store and online customer experience.
Once you get behind its enormous thick wooden doors, which are curved like a roasted coffee bean, there are two floors of theatrical, interactive entertainment.
The first sign of this type was opened in 2014 in the u.s. city of Seattle, where the group has its headquarters.
With a new Starbucks store opening in China every 15 hours - setting the country well on the path to surpass the USA total number of stores within a decade - it's clear that those dreams are going to keep growing at an extraordinary rate.
The store has a Willy Wonka feel, with a giant two-story cask holding tons of freshly roasted beans that are sent out to the café's various bars through tubing that snakes along the ceiling while packaged beans wander around on conveyor belts.
Visitors who don't download the Roastery app or access it on Alibaba's Taobao app can scan QR codes embedded around the Roastery for a similar experience. "It's one thing to imagine a fully integrated in-store and digital experience, which brings together the impressive scale of the Shanghai Roastery with the highest quality small-lot coffee beans. We wanted to enable them to order wherever they want". In addition to being able to place an order and pay directly from their phones, customers will also be alerted digitally when their order is ready to be picked up, the release said.
"It's coffee as theater", said Echo Jiang, director of customer experience at the Roastery. "They can bring the Starbucks Roastery home with them, to continue enjoying and even share the experience with others".
Alibaba's online marketplace, Tmall, can also be used to further extend the shopping experience at Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai.
"That time is nearer than you think", said Schultz at the opening of the Roastery in Shanghai, adding that technology will not replace the brand's "humanity" in dealing with customers.
The ceiling is covered in 10,000 handmade tiles made from American walnut, that are hexagonal in shape and apparently inspired by the locking of an espresso shot on an espresso machine. It also features a Teavana tea bar that was 3D printed using recycled materials, the release said.