Starbucks is opening a store in China every 15 hours

On Tuesday, crowds sampled fresh brews and watched beans being roasted on-site at the grand opening event for the brand's first worldwide Starbucks Reserve Roastery, focused on serving higher-end gourmet coffee.

Starbucks on Wednesday, Dec. 6 is opening its biggest cafe in the world in Shanghai. "People can choose chains or go for specialist coffee stores".

The world's largest Starbucks is opening in Shanghai and at almost 30,000 square feet, it looks like a castle.

"China is our second-largest and fastest-growing market".

"This is a show store", Gordon said. "We strongly believe, and we're committed to, building a long-term business in China that will be bigger, more powerful and more significant than our business in the U.S".

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Separately, the company could team up with Alibaba Group Holding on projects beyond mobile payment services, Schultz said in an interview.

Starbucks is serving more than 5 million customers in China per week, Johnson said. "The friendship and the shared values we have and their reach, our brand - there are things that we could do together". The company announced plans in July to buy out its partners in its Each China joint venture, for US$1.3 billion. Starbucks China CEO Belinda Wong told reporters that a new one opens every 15 hours.

Starbucks is betting China's hunger for luxury goods is transferable to coffee. Available on the custom-designed Roastery digital web app platform and Alibaba's Taobao app, the AR platform will incorporate a digital menu and share details of the coffee bars and brewing methods, in addition to other online and offline experiences. "They are registering explosive growth rates", said Shanghai-based Euromonitor analyst Yu Limin.

Coffee shop aficionados, take notice.

It's part of a new line of upscale shops the company is rolling out around the world. "Strengthening partner-driven and locally-relevant community engagement" are just some of the buzzwords floating around the new initiative, which will see the introduction of Yunnan Reserve coffee, grown in Pu'er, exclusively at the Shanghai Reserve Roastery. Still, rollout has been slowed by high construction costs and trouble finding suitable real estate.