Starbucks goes green for summer

by FoodBusinessNews.net Staff
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SEATTLE — On Wednesday, Starbucks Coffee Co. will begin offering an assortment of fresh and flavorful summer beverages made with Tazo green teas. The lineup includes the new Tazo green tea Frappuccino blended creme, made with real matcha (ground green tea leaves), and two twists on classic iced tea — Tazo shaken green iced tea and Tazo shaken green tea lemonade. All three beverages will be available at Starbucks stores in the United States and Canada from July 13 through Sept. 30.

Tazo green tea Frappuccino blended creme was first introduced in 2001 in Starbucks stores in Taiwan and Singapore. It has since been enjoyed by customers throughout Asia and has become one of the top Frappuccino blended beverage flavors in those markets.

"Many of our customers who visited our stores in Asia became fans of the Tazo green tea Frappuccino blended creme and requested its introduction in North America," said Michelle Gass, senior vice-president of category management for Starbucks.

According to the 2005 Gallup Study of Hot Tea, conducted by Multi-sponsor Surveys, Inc., green tea consumption among hot tea drinkers has nearly tripled since 1999, with more than half trying green tea in the past year. Furthermore, the proportion of green tea drinkers reporting weekly consumption has grown by 32% since 2003.

"Given the growing popularity of green tea in the United States and Canada, this is the perfect summer to bring the distinct flavor and benefits of green tea to our Frappuccino blended beverage and Tazo Shaken Iced Tea offerings," Ms. Gass said.

Tazo green tea Frappuccino blended creme gets its light green color from the addition of high-grade matcha. Matcha is made by grinding green tea leaves into a fine powder and is used in traditional Japanese tea ceremonies. Made with real matcha, the Tazo green tea Frappuccino blended creme has a hint of melon flavor and contains more antioxidants than an equivalent amount of orange or apple juice.

Tazo green tea Frappuccino blended creme is available with or without whipped cream and customers may modify the intensity of the green tea flavor by increasing or decreasing the amount of matcha in their beverage or by ordering their beverage with more or less melon flavor.

Tazo shaken green iced tea and Tazo shaken green tea lemonade are made with freshly brewed Tazo Zen green tea, which is a combination of green tea from China, lemon verbena from Eastern Europe, mint from the Pacific Northwest and lemongrass from Guatemala. The teas are then personalized to individual tastes, with or without sweetener and all-natural lemonade and shaken over ice to bring out the full flavor.

Starbucks Corp. is one of the largest retailers, roasters and branders of specialty coffee in the world, with more than 9,500 retail locations in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim. In addition to its retail operations, the company produces and sells bottled Frappuccino coffee drinks, Starbucks DoubleShot coffee drink, and a line of super premium ice creams through its joint venture partnerships.

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