Two Starbucks stores opened Friday in Xining City, capital of northwest China's Qinghai Province, the first of the global coffeehouse chain on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.
The two stores, close to each other, are in Limeng Business Street in the downtown area.
"There is no Starbucks in Tibet (Autonomous Region). It is the first Starbucks store on this plateau area in China," said Guo Yi, senior customer manager of Blue Digital, a marketing agency in partnership with Starbucks.
The mixture of retro decoration, back cushions with ethnic features and coffee machines blend tradition and modernity.
Padma Yangkyi, a university student, was among the first group of customers on Friday. She said she was enchanted by the delicate coffee mug with a design of a Tibetan yak.
"Young people are very excited by the Starbucks. The fondness for traditional buttered tea and Tibetan opera doesn't weaken our love for coffee and pop songs," she said.
Qinghai has long been a melting pot for a number of ethnic groups including the Han, Tibetans and Hui Muslims.
Since opening its doors in the Chinese mainland in 1999, Starbucks now has 1,700 stores. China is its second biggest market.