With the thousands of brands worldwide all offering their own unique products on a once basic drink, the coffee industry has skyrocketed far beyond the days of a homemade pot before work or a cup of joe at a diner costing a quarter. Instead, almost every well-known restaurant and countless other coffee shops have sprung up across the world. Whether it’s a local, hipster coffee shop offering only organic free-trade coffee or a chain restaurant, no one can deny that the coffee industry is nothing short of thriving.


While not having a total monopoly in the coffee industry, Starbucks is still a major, dominating player in the same way that Microsoft is for the computer industry.  With almost 27,000 locations worldwide, the Seattle-based coffee company has given worldwide attention to their many signature drinks, several of which are quite extravagant to say the least.


The Pumpkin Spice Latte, containing zero percent actual pumpkin, has become a fall-time classic and with the Christmas Tree Frappuccino being released soon, Starbucks has made it very obvious that they plan on continuing with the “limited-time only” drink options. I just hope they don’t revive the short lived cup of rainbow vomit known as The Unicorn Frappuccino, which had the equivalent of three Snickers bars worth of sugar.


On the international stage, Starbucks has made an equally memorable name for itself. With a plentiful amount of locations in everywhere from South Africa to Saudi Arabia and even three locations in Luxembourg, the coffee giant has decided to add another location to the bustling Chinese metropolis of Shanghai. Unlike other locations however, this is anticipated to be Starbucks’ largest location.


(Seattle Times)

With over 30,000 square feet, Shanghai Roastery is being brilliantly described as “a fully immersive coffee wonderland” according to Starbucks’ website. The massive store will possess features only seen in the wildest dreams of Starbucks aficionados, a two-story, 40-ton copper coffee roasting cask and a 3-D printed tea bar simply to name a few. The elaborate coffee bar, serving everything from Teavana tea to artisanal Italian pastries from Italian bakery Princi, breaks a Starbucks world record as it’s the longest coffee Starbucks bar in the world.


With the revolutionary way that Starbucks has changed the coffee industry as a whole, they’re changing the game even further with the now open Shanghai location, partially due to the fact that they’re creating an augmented reality experience to go along with customers’ experiences in the store. As well as serving as a rewards-like system for frequent purchases, the app allows customers to “to make purchases from anywhere within the store without having to stand in line.” This completely digital way of ordering drinks could potentially greatly reduce the time needed to wait in line.


This store is unlike anything previously done by the coffee giant. With the extravagant features and the entire concept of the augmented reality app, this Shanghai location could possibly be world-changing.

Have you been to the Shanghai location yet? If so, Tweet me or send me pictures at @CaptainKasoff because I’d love to hear a first hand experience of it.