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World's Biggest Starbucks Set to Open in Tokyo, Will Also Have Planet's Largest Tea Bar

The 32,000-square-foot Tokyo Roastery will open to the public on Thursday morning. It overtakes the one in Shanghai as the biggest Starbucks on the planet.

CNN

Updated:February 27, 2019, 11:54 AM IST
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World's Biggest Starbucks Set to Open in Tokyo, Will Also Have Planet's Largest Tea Bar
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Starbucks is about to open its biggest Roastery in the world in Tokyo.

Roasteries — large, lavish Starbucks stores that feature specialty coffees and teas, on-premise roasters and massive coffee casks where freshly roasted beans are held — are a way to "celebrate the romance of coffee," CEO Kevin Johnson told CNN Business.

The 32,000-square-foot Tokyo Roastery will open to the public on Thursday morning. It overtakes the one in Shanghai as the biggest Starbucks on the planet. The company has just three others, in Seattle, Milan and New York City.

After Tokyo, Starbucks plans to open one more Roastery, in Chicago.

Roasteries are designed to solve a problem all retailers face: How to make the in-store experience unique and exciting enough to lure in customers. Starbucks is also using the Roasteries to test out design concepts and menu items — and to double down on its promise of offering a "third place" between home and work, even as it focuses on speed and convenience elsewhere.

"The Roasteries are brand amplifiers for us," Johnson said. "That is their primary objective."

In Tokyo, customers who visit the Roastery will be able to order elaborate drinks like black tea lattes garnished with turmeric cotton candy and jasmine teas topped with popsicles. They'll be able to gaze at cherry blossoms through glass walls, and sip beverages on an outdoor terrace.

The four-story shop boasts a number of superlatives. It's the first Roastery to be designed from start to finish with a local designer, architect Kengo Kuma, and the first Starbucks location with a dedicated "inspiration lounge" to host events. It's home to the world's largest Teavana tea bar. And Starbucks also hopes that it will one day become the first of its stores to be certified by the Specialty Coffee Association, a non-profit membership group, to train coffee professionals.

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