Costa has opened its 400th store in the UK today in Cambridge.
Antony Habgood, chairman of owner Whitbread (pictured below, centre), was at the launch to cut the ribbon, along with Gino Amasanti (below left), Costa's master roaster, and Mark Phillips, Costa's managing director.
The coffee-bar company is in the middle of a rapid global expansion that has seen it open stores in India and Pakistan this year.
It is currently in talks over entering the burgeoning Chinese coffee market and already operates in 13 countries around the world.
Last week the company launched itself into the travel concessions sector with branded tie-ups with Virgin Atlantic, P&O Ferries and GNER trains.
Virgin Costa has specially developed an aeroplane-friendly espresso machine so that cabin crew can serve Costa coffee to passengers.
by Chris Druce