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Brief Published: 24 Oct 2013

Starbucks Tea Bar

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Coffee giant Starbucks is set to broaden its fanbase by opening its first tea bar in New York today, aiming to corner both sides of the hot beverage market. Based in Manhattan, Teavana Fine Teas & Tea Bar will brew up hot and iced variations and loose-leaf teas, as well as selling food and merchandise – with no coffee on the menu.

Starbucks – which tellingly removed its name as well as the word ‘coffee’ from its logo in 2011 – has been diversifying its empire over the past few years. It acquired Atlanta-based tea chain Teavana last year for $620m, in a bid to make tea a bigger part of American culture. In 2011, it bought juice brand Evolution Fresh Inc., and it purchased pastry company Bay Bread last year. 

Tea is already a burgeoning market: according to Starbucks’ chief executive Howard Schultz, the global hot and iced-tea category is worth around $90bn. The company plans to open 1,000 tea bars with more locations to be added over the next year, including one in Seattle next month and the addition of bars to the 300 existing Teavana retail stores.

For more on the growing relevance of tea, see Brewing Innovation: Trends in Tea and Rise of the New Tea Shops.

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