Bali home to biggest Starbucks in S-E Asia

itoday - Bali: Indonesia’s resort island of Bali is a popular holiday spot among global travellers, and its status as a tourist destination to South-East Asia’s largest economy has led to US coffee giant Starbucks opening its largest store in the region in the island’s busy neighbourhood of Seminyak.

The branch takes after Bali’s colloquial title, namely Starbucks Reserve “Dewata”, a term that means “god” in the Hindu-majority island locally dubbed Pulau Dewata (Island of the Gods).

Situated on Sunset Road in Seminyak, the store is built on over 2,000 sq m of land and boasts a laid-back layout.

With swinging seats on the patio and plush couches in the library-themed room on the second floor, it will be easy to feel cosy and right at home in South-East Asia’s largest Starbucks store.

The spacious building’s floor-to-ceiling windows on one side look out on to a micro-plot of arabica coffee trees measuring 100 sq m, which mirrors the size of 90% of all coffee farms in the country, illustrating the store’s aim to give an insight from seed to cup.

Dewata goes beyond being a regular Starbucks hub, even with its upscale Reserve bar, as the store has been designed to become a coffee sanctuary that offers an in-depth look into the coffee-making process.

Indonesia is the world’s fourth-­largest coffee producer after Brazil, Vietnam and Colombia, according to Trade Ministry data.

Starbucks chief executive officer Kevin Johnson, who officially opened the store over the weekend, said the company had sourced arabica coffee from Indonesia since the beginning of its journey almost half a century ago.

“We started sourcing coffee in Indonesia in 1971, and today we are the largest buyer of arabica coffee in Indonesia,” Johnson said.

Johnson said the Dewata store was also a tribute to coffee farmers around the world.

Since early in its inception, which began almost two years ago, the store was involved with the company’s farmer-support centre in designing the store’s concept, showing how coffee grows, is processed and becomes a beverage.

It offers guided tours to learn of the coffee-production journey, only available at Dewata, which also houses a coffee-tree nursery, tasting room, interactive games and a media room that screens interviews with its agronomists.

Source: thestar.com

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