Online menswear retailer to open 18 locations in 2018; reduces delivery time

A “Steampunk” device uses steam to extract the best flavor from tea at the Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai

Starbucks' huge expansion in China - the company already has 3,000 stores in the country and opens up new outlets there roughly every 15 hours - has been orchestrated to offset sluggish growth in other regions of the world.

The incredible store even features Starbucks' first-ever augmented reality experience where digitally-savvy customers can point their phone at different features around the venue to receive instant information and feedback on anything from the bean to coffee process, to varying brewing methods.

Twin to the Seattle-based inaugural small-lot Reserve cafe, the new restaurant boasts Starbucks' first augmented reality experience.

The company's flagship Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room opened in its home market of Seattle in 2014.

Roasted coffee spills into a cooling tray in the new Starbucks Roastery in Shanghai, China.

Starbucks now has about 3,000 stores in China, but it wants to put in at least another 2,000 by 2021 to take the grand total up to 5,000.

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The new roastery in Shanghai is expected to enhance Starbuck's reputation as a go-to place for dates and business meetings at a time when some locals argue that the company is losing its premium branding.

Starbucks is exploring "a range of options" for delivery, said Mr Johnson, who declined to specify when the service might begin. The three wooden coffee bars, including one that is 88 ft. long - the longest at any Starbucks - were handcrafted by premiere Chinese artisans and reference the unique roasting curve of individual coffee beans.

Additional Roasteries are slated to open in Milan and NY in 2018 and in Tokyo and Chicago in 2019.

"We firmly believe it is our role and responsibility to use our scale to give back to the communities as we continue to grow in China, and with the people of China", Belinda Wong, CEO of Starbucks China, said in a statement. It is also the only tea bar created from recycled materials using a 3-D printer, measuring 7.5 metres (25 feet) in length.

In addition, the light jade colouring of the bar was inspired by ancient green clay teapots, Starbucks said.

This location will be manned by more than 30 skilled Chinese bakers and chefs and feature more than 80 items baked fresh on-site daily.

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