Starbucks plans Tazo tea store opening this fall

by Eric Schroeder
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SEATTLE — Starbucks Coffee Co. plans to open its first Tazo retail store later this year, another move that will expand the company beyond its coffee shops. Earlier this year, Starbucks announced plans to open its first Evolution Fresh Inc. juice store.

Starbucks acquired Tazo Tea Co. in 1999 for $8.1 million. The new store is expected to include a tea bar where customers are able to blend their own tea mixes. The store will offer more than 80 varieties of loose-leaf tea, tea lattes and iced teas, as well as packaged chocolates, infused sugars and honeys. Pastries and other food will also be served, as in the company’s coffee shops.

“We see an enormous opportunity to grow the Tazo brand in the tea category, and we’re excited to share our vision for Tazo as an emerging brand within Starbucks portfolio,” a spokesperson for Starbucks said in an e-mailed statement. “This fall, we’ll seek to elevate the premium tea experience by leveraging our unique set of assets to open the first Tazo retail store in Seattle, introducing the casual American tea drinker to something unlike anything they’ve experienced before.”

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