28 February 2019 | Japan

Starbucks unveils largest Reserve Roastery to date in Tokyo

2,972 sq m  Reserve Roastery in Tokyo features a coffee training centre and the world’s largest Teavana bar, with more than 100 coffee and tea beverages available over four floors

The 16.8-metre tall copper coffee cask is the largest of its kind in a Reserve Roastery 

Starbucks has officially opened its fifth Reserve Roastery. The 2,972 sq m Tokyo store is the largest of its kind, featuring four floors of coffee, tea and mixology bars alongside a Princi Bakery and an SCA-certified training centre.

As with all Reserve Roasteries, Starbucks has been keen to emphasise its appreciation of local craft and tradition. The Tokyo roastery was designed in collaboration with a renowned Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma, and celebrates Japan’s prized tea heritage with the world’s largest Teavana bar.

“The Roastery will amplify and inspire coffee passion across all Starbucks stores, and will serve as a catalyst for a new wave of growth centered on the customer experience and passion for coffee and service," said Takafumi Minaguchi, CEO, Starbucks Japan. “Customers will be invited to experience the first Starbucks coffee roasted exclusively in Tokyo, for Japan, and available in a variety of coffee beverage styles,” he added. 

Japan was Starbucks' first international location outside North America when it launched a 139 sq m store in Tokyo's Ginza shopping district in 2996. Today, the US chain operates 1,400 stores in the East Asian nation, employing around 37,000 staff.

At the store opening, Starbucks CEO, Kevin Johnson acknowledged Japan’s roll in driving the coffee chain's innovation and development. “The opening of the Tokyo Roastery will further amplify what Starbucks Japan has done across all stores in the market for more than two decades — innovating and delivering the finest quality coffee one person, one cup and one neighbourhood at a time," he said.

Starbucks is scheduled to open its sixth Reserve Roastery in Chicago later in 2019 but has yet to reveal plans for more of the super-premium stores. In January 2019, Johnson signalled a more pragmatic approach to the roll-out of its Reserve Store concept, which carries some elements of the prestigious Reserve Roasteries, by testing six to ten of the stores in the US. Former CEO, Howard Schultz, had previously indicated opening up to 1,000 Reserve Stores and 30 prestigious Reserve Roastery stores was a key facet of the coffee giant’s expansion strategy.

Nevertheless, the current crop of Reserve Roasteries give Starbucks an important brand foothold in crucial markets across the US, Europe and Asia. By expanding the Roastery concept in key global locations, Starbucks is building the infrastructure for a new wave of scaled premium coffee shop experiences. In this regard, it is the only major coffee chain to successfully capitalise on premiumisation through augmenting its standard brand with a scaled artisan concept.
 
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