From my humble beginnings of drinking chai to pouring high quality Phoenix Oolong tea, I can confidently say that I am an all-around tea drinker. And yes that does include, to the dismay of some tea connoisseurs, tea from Teavana.
A blog post by founder of Seven Cups, Austin, made me think more about the implications of Starbucks’ recent acquisition of Teavana. On November 14, Starbucks acquired Teavana for a hefty $620 million in cash, a move that can change the consumption of high-quality tea in the US drastically.
Teavana is a specialty tea store committed to providing loose leaf tea and tea accessories across the nation. With an aesthetically pleasing interior and its elaborate tea names (try “Peachberry Jasmine Sutra Tea”), Teavana knows how to target the average consumer.They also heavily market the health-benefits of tea which I personally feel is should be viewed as an added bonus, not as the primary reason to drink tea.
As Austin mentioned in his blog post, Starbucks might provide a better business model for Teavana by toning down their high pressure-sales tactics (don’t get me started on how many times I’ve been asked to buy their German Rock Sugar). Another aspect Starbucks is fluent in is scalability. CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, declared that “Teavana will also move into the consumer packaged goods category, meaning it will also be sold in supermarkets.” Along with Mighty Leaf tea and Numi, that means better packaged tea options for me!
Sure Teavana is no Seven Cups or Teance (sometimes I wonder if im actually drinking tea or dried fruit), I’m still excited for this move because this can drastically improve our current tea-quality standards.