Starbucks Reserve Roastery, Shanghai
No.789 Nanjing West Road | N201-N110 Hkri Taikoo Hui, Shanghai, China
Hot, aromatic and complex on the palate, coffee is a deeply sensorial experience. The stunning Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Shanghai aims to take that experience further via augmented reality (AR).
The goal is to expand consumers’ understanding of the story of coffee, from bean to cup – it’s ‘coffee as theatre’.
With its one-of-a-kind Shanghai Roastery, Starbucks has brewed up an augmented coffee experience you’ll want to savour.
And the massive Shanghai space is an ideal stage for it to play out. Spanning 30,000 feet, it features Starbucks’ longest coffee bar, a 3D-printed jade tea bar and an exquisite ceiling featuring 10,000 hand-carved hexagonal wooden tiles. Almost all of it gets an extra boost via AR.
Take the roasting cask. A vast two-storey copper vessel studded with traditional Chinese glyphs, it’s already impressive. But with your phone’s AR capabilities, it comes to life with visual displays showing beans landing in the cask and being whisked through to the coffee bars.
The Roastery is the first of Starbucks’ stores to offer AR. Visitors download the app as they enter the Roastery, then point their phone at key points of interest to learn more via a virtual tour guide. QR codes are planted around the space for those without the app. Customers collect “badges” for exploring the space, unlocking a special social media filter at completion.
The space also upends the traditional queue-and-wait experience via its roaming baristas. Consumers can browse menus via the app or QR codes, and place and pay for an order on the spot. They can also book tastings and tours, or purchase beans or merchandise for home delivery.
It’s just another way the Roastery expands the coffee experience beyond its physical site.