BEIJING, China. - Ten years ago Fabio Ying didn't like coffee. "Bitter," Ying said through a translator.
Now as a Starbucks Coffee Master, he not only loves it, he teaches customers at a Beijing Starbucks how to brew and taste coffee.
"He's kind of answering the reason why coffee is getting popular here now," said Starbucks Beijing's district manager, Alex Yang, "It's more than we used to know, having the cup in the morning."
Starbucks has big plans for growth in China. The Seattle-based coffee giant opened its first location in China in 1991.
By 2011 there were 400 stores across the country and now the number is closer to 2300. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has said he eventually would like to have more stores in China than in the United States.
It will be a while before that happens. There are currently almost 13,000 Starbucks locations in the United States. Yang knows tea will always be China's top drink, and Starbucks locations in China also serve tea, but he said the company thinks there's a place for coffee too.
”We’re not taking away the idea of teas," said Yang, "Coffee is becoming part of our lives and culture here in China.”