Starbucks opening its first Vietnam cafe

Starbucks chain plans to open in Ho Chi

Starbucks chain plans to open in Ho Chi Minh City first. Vietnam is the world’s second-largest coffee producer. Above, a cafe in Hanoi. (Jan. 3, 2013) (Credit: AFP / Getty Images)

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Starbucks Corp. will open its first Vietnam cafe early next month in Ho Chi Minh City as part of its strategy to expand across Asia, the company said Thursday.

The Seattle-based chain will be entering a country of coffee lovers that already has an established market. At least two popular homegrown chains have dozens of locations nationwide, and family-run sidewalk cafes dot the streets and alleys of larger Vietnamese cities.

Starbucks said it operates more than 3,300 stores across 11 countries in the Asia-Pacific region and China, but its Vietnam cafes will celebrate the country's "coffee culture and heritage."

"We are looking forward to serving our customers in Vietnam in an authentic and locally relevant way," Jinlong Wang, president for Starbucks Asia Pacific, said in a statement.

Vietnam is the world's second-largest coffee producer behind Brazil and already provides high-quality beans for Starbucks stores in other countries.

Starbucks opened in 1971 and has nearly 18,000 retail stores in 60 countries.

Also Thursday, Starbucks said coffee lovers can get their grande lattes in a $1 reusable plastic cup, sold by the chain across North America in an effort to get customers to cut back on waste.

All company-owned stores and some licensed stores in the United States and Canada will offer the cups, which bear the Seattle coffee giant's logo and resemble the white paper cups normally used by the cafes.

The recyclable cups are marked to measure grande or tall servings -- Starbucks lingo for 16-ounce and 12-ounce sizes, respectively. Customers who use the cup or any other reusable container get a 10-cent discount for each refill as well as a boiling water cleanse for the receptacle.

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