Starbucks Strengthens China Commitment With Opening Of 100th Store In Beijing; Elevating Coffee And Partner Experience

Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) today advanced its growth plans in China with the opening of its 100 th store in Beijing, celebrating the first store in the China market led by all certified Coffee Masters, further elevating Starbucks coffee expertise and uncompromising Starbucks Experience. The company also announced the launch of Starbucks China University, its innovative talent development program.

“China is a focal point of our global expansion efforts and we are proud to bring this unique store, staffed by all partners certified as Coffee Masters, to our customers here in Beijing and further demonstrate our espresso leadership,” said Belinda Wong, president, Starbucks China. “Beijing is where we started our journey in China, opening our first store in 1999 and we are proud to now operate 100 stores across the city and more than 700 throughout Mainland China.”

Starbucks has announced that China will be its second largest market by 2014 and will have 1,500 stores by 2015 across more than 70 cities.

First China Store Staffed by All Certified Coffee Masters Elevates Espresso Excellence While Consistently Delivering Authentic Starbucks Experience

The 100 th store in Beijing is located at the Solana International Business District, and is staffed by all Starbucks Coffee Masters, baristas who have completed a rigorous certification process and have earned the right to wear the distinguished Black Apron after intensive coffee skills and knowledge training. Starbucks Coffee Masters have an unparalleled passion for coffee and are equipped with a high-level of artisanal coffee skills and expertise to deliver an exceptional Starbucks coffee experience to customers.

“Our passion and pursuit for high-quality arabica coffee is how we have built our company and the Starbucks brand the past 41 years,” added Wong. “Our partners are at the heart of everything we do in our stores in China, and the certified Coffee Masters leading this store will introduce customers to even more unique elements of the espresso experience, demonstrating and defining our coffee leadership position in China.”

To become a Coffee Master, partners undergo a vigorous training and skills examination, acquiring coffee knowledge spanning from coffee history, geography, agriculture to coffee sourcing, green coffee bean quality control, and Starbucks coffee roasting and blending. In addition, these certified coffee leaders demonstrate the highest level of expertise in the “last 10 feet” of the coffee journey – the steps Starbucks partners take to handcraft the perfect Starbucks espresso-based beverage, lead coffee tasting sessions and share the unique Starbucks coffee culture by building personal moments of connection with customers. Starbucks Coffee Masters renew their certifications regularly to ensure that they are not only highly-skilled coffee experts, but also the ambassadors who will inspire the appreciation of the Starbucks coffee culture and values.

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