Business

Starbucks to open first Tazo tea shop in Washington

Starbucks Corp.

StarbucksCoffee Co. plans to continue expanding beyond its coffee cafes with its first stand-alone tea shop, which will operate under the company’s Tazo brand.

The store will open in the fall near Starbuck’s Seattle headquarters and will feature a staffed blending bar where customers can mix their own tea from more than 80 loose-leaf choices along with iced teas, tea lattes and full-leaf tea sachets.

To pair with the tea, the location in Seattle’s University Village will also sell packaged chocolates, infused sugars and honey. Patrons can pick up food and brewing merchandise as well.

Tazo already represents a $1-billion business for Starbucks, executives said in April, when they briefly referenced the brand’s “unique opportunities … in multiple channels of distribution.” Starbucks bought Tazo in 1999 for $8.1 million; some estimates peg the global tea market to be worth $95 billion.

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to refer to Starbucks as a chain that serves just joe. The company recently launched its Evolution Fresh juice store in Washington state. Earlier this month, it paid $100 million to buy Bay Area bakery brand La Boulange.

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