Executive chairman Howard Schultz, speaking at the launch of Starbucks' first overseas "Reserve Roastery" - an opulent flagship store with gourmet coffees and a bakery - said China was on track to be "bigger, more powerful and more significant" than the firm's United States business.
Just in time for the holidays, the world's largest Starbucks is now open in Shanghai.
China is Starbucks' fastest growing market in the world with a store opening there every 15 hours. Starbucks promises that customers will be greeted by a multi-sensory coffee experience in an interactive coffee and retail destination like no other.
Patrons at the huge new coffeehouse located on the well-known shopping strip West Nanjing Road can watch coffee beans being roasted, use an augmented reality app from Starbucks to interact inside the store and sample high-end coffees.
Starbucks opened its first store in China in 1999 in Beijing. "It is also another example of Starbucks tying together a physical store experience with new technology" said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson when announcing this at the GeekWire Summit in September.
The location is actually only the second Starbucks Reserve Roastery in the world: the first opened three years ago in Seattle. The location has gourmet drinks - like nitrogen-infused teas - and an 88-foot-long, hand-crafted coffee bar. (SBUX) said it will open its biggest location ever on Wednesday in the Chinese city of Shanghai.
But the Shanghai roastery won't hold the title of largest Starbucks for too long. Starbucks already operates more than 3,000 stores in the country and 2,000 more by 2021.
Princi baked items are shown in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China.
The Roastery will also feature China's first Starbucks Teavana Bar, where customers can select a Teavana signature pure tea or blend, served either hot or iced. In the fiscal year 2017, Chinese sales grew by 7 percent, while global sales grew by 3 percent.
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