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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Artisanal Tea Has Been Given the Oprah Stamp of Approval

Posted By on Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 12:25 PM

click to enlarge Howard Schultz and Oprah celebrate the announcement of her new chai tea line. - STARBUCKS NEWS
  • Starbucks News
  • Howard Schultz and Oprah celebrate the announcement of her new chai tea line.

Last week we told you to get ready for artisanal tea to become a thing. Today there's more proof: Coffee giant Starbucks announced at a shareholders' meeting today that it's commissioned none other than Oprah Winfrey to create a new tea blend for its brand Teavana. Oprah will be making a chai blend, which she developed with "Teavana's leading teaologist Naoko Tsunoda." (How many teaologists does Teavana employ, one wonders?)

See also: Brace Yourselves For Third-Wave Tea to Be a Thing

"I looove tea," said Oprah Winfrey in the press release, no doubt making global tea shares rise precipitously. She even went so far as to dub it one of her Favorite Things.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is betting on tea too. "With the introduction of Teavana Oprah Chai, we are going to elevate the tea experience in the same way we did for coffee," he was quoted in the press release.

The "elevation of the tea experience" already happening in the Bay Area, though no doubt a Starbucks stamp of approval will help it gain popularity Samovar Tea Lounge is opening a new spot a few blocks down from Four Barrel on Valencia, while the new Song Tea shop in Pacific Heights is carrying fancy teas from around the world. And that's not even getting into the cat cafes that caused such an Internet uproar a few months back.

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About The Author

Anna Roth

Anna Roth

Anna Roth is SF Weekly's former Food & Drink Editor and author of West Coast Road Eats: The Best Road Food From San Diego to the Canadian Border.


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