Starbucks launched its latest seasonal cold brew coffee, featuring a sweet and smooth taste and concentrated aroma, in its upmarket cafe brand.
The new-style cafe is known for serving rare and small-batch coffee beans to meet the demands of the small yet fast-growing market of local coffee connoisseurs.
The cafe is highlighted by its interactive coffee bar, where customers can chat to barsistas while they work, and see them showcasing various brewing methods such as manual, pour-over and classic coffee press. It opens up an immersive experience, where guests can discover all the aspects of coffee, from beans sourcing to roasting, from brewing to serving.
There are to date 20 Starbucks Reserve cafes selling cold brew in China, the latest and among the most impressive which recently opened on Hubing Road in Corporate Avenue.
One of Shanghai's best-known office areas, Corporate Avenue Xintiandi is close to metro station and Huaihai Road shopping street. The Starbucks Reserve (Hubing Branch) is located in a two-story house with floor-to-ceiling glass opposite Taipingqiao City Park, offering lake and park views while customers sip their coffee.
The first floor housing coffee bar island features elegant decor that shows respect to local history, yet still preserving the legacy of the world's first Starbucks at Pike Place Market in Seattle.
The inside wall is made from clay tiles recycled from old shikumen architecture and decorated with scenes of Pike Place Market, using different materials — including paper coffee cup holder.
Clear cylinder containers suspended from the ceiling lights are filled with a dark-to-light spectrum of coffee beans, creating a "coffee laboratory" feel.
This expresses the chain's rigorous attitude toward each cup of coffee, said a Starbucks spokesperson.
The second floor features comfortable and natural decor. Panelled walls and comfy sofas make customers create a cozy and relaxed vibe. And for an impressive conversation point, an art piece on the wall named Coffee Journey sees the artist use recycled hemp rope to illustrate how a cup of coffee is made — from hand picking and drying the beans, through to roasting and brewing. Alongside is a list of coffee vocabulary.
Cold brew coffee is Starbucks Reserve's summer signature drink. The brewing method sees coarse grounded coffee soaked in water for a long time under it gently releases all the flavors. Baristas spend more than 20 hours soaking the beans in water under 5 degrees Celsius to fully preserve the aroma of the beans and balance the acidity and intensity in flavor.
They choose Peru Amazon beans, also known as "brave's coffee" due to the difficulties harvesting the jungle crop. Such bean offers distinctive flavors mixing baked walnut and caramel and long sweet aftertaste.
The cold brew coffee was first launched in Boston and its popularity soon grew. So far it is only available in two branches of Starbucks Reserve — Hubing Road and Wukang Road — in Shanghai.
Starbucks, says it is planning to open more Starbucks Reserve in Shanghai to meet the demands of caffeine connoisseurs.
Address: 150 Hubing Rd