The biggest Starbucks store and roastery just opened last Thursday in Tokyo, Japan, but it isn’t like any other in the world, this one features specialty coffees and teas, massive coffee casks, and the largest Teavana bar in the world. One of its coffee casks is actually over 55 feet tall and its overhead pipes shoot beans throughout the building.
This Tokyo Starbucks is the company’s fifth store and roastery and has overtaken the one in Shanghai (2017) as the biggest Starbucks on the planet. Moreover, the company is planning to open the next one in Chicago, and they have three more besides Tokyo and Shanghai, in Seattle (2014), Milan, and New York City (both in 2018).
The 4-story Nakameguro store was designed by local architect Kengo Kuma and was inspired by the cherry blossom trees that line the Meguro river. The roastery looks like an inverted pagoda, organized by a strata of wood and glass, and inside the building the blossom theme continues with handcrafted flowers that float around a 55-foot blush-tinted copper cask.
The first floor is home to the bakery and café, while the second floor hosts the Teavana tea bar which offers 18 loose-leaf teas and more tea-based beverages. The third-floor offers a full-service Arriviamo bar that has both coffee and tea-infused cocktails, which serves as an “innovation lab” where drinks are tested out and later rolled out nationwide. Finally, the fourth floor is home to the Inspiration Lounge – the event space, and the Roasting factory, the soon-to-be Specialty Coffee Association of Japan-certified training location.
Starbucks roasteries are more than a standard coffee shop, they roast their own beans and serve specialty coffees, teas, and snacks. They are designed to make the in-store experience unique and exciting enough to lure in customers, as well as to test out design concepts and menu items.