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Shanghai becomes the first city in the world with 1,000 Starbucks

The location in Lippo Plaza is Starbucks' 6,000th in China.
Al Urbanski
starbucks shanghai
The minimalist-style shop

In the 17th Century, British Tea Clippers sailed to China to fill their holds with what would become their nation’s signature beverage. Now, in the 21st Century, it could be argued that the source of China’s favorite drink is in Seattle.

On September 30th, Starbucks will open its 1,000th store in the city of Shanghai at Lippo Plaza—the very shopping center where it opened its first Chinese location more than 20 years ago. The most populous city in the world—with a metro count approaching 40 million—now becomes the first city in the world to pass the 1,000-Starbuck’s milestone.

The streamlined shop with minimalist-style furniture will also bring Starbuck’s China-wide store count to 6,000—a fact which may diminish the legitimacy of the nation’s longtime title as “The Sleeping Giant.”

“As Starbucks celebrates our 6,000th store in China, we are deeply humbled to return where we opened our first store in Shanghai,” said Starbucks’ China CEO Leo Tsoi, in a press release “It has been a privilege to share our love for coffee with local customers and contribute to the development of China’s coffee culture and its specialty coffee industry over the past two decades.”

Old green aprons donned by Starbucks partners were upcycled to create the store’s signature artwork – a Starbucks siren bearing design details flagging important milestones of Starbucks China legacy. The store also hopes to delight Shanghai Starbucks drinkers with a mug wall made up of a vast collection of Shanghai-signature Starbucks mugs launched over the years.

Top of the menu at the Lippo Plaza shop on opening day will be “Shanghai Coffee in Crema Ristretto style,” whose Ristretto espresso based will be seasoned with malt powder and butterscotch beloved by the Shanghainese.

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