Starbucks Reaches Teavana With New Tea Bar

Teavanna bar
Starbucks hopes to do for tea what it’s done for coffee with the debut of its first teahouse, Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar.

Located in the Upper East Village, the chain’s first step outside the coffee world is described by CEO Howard Schultz as being the complete opposite of the Starbucks cafes we know and love. “The difference between a Starbucks coffee shop and a Teavana teahouse “is like night and day, it’s much more zen-like than anything you’ll find in a Starbucks store.”

Other differences between the two shops include the fact that you can order a shaken iced tea at your favorite Starbucks but don’t expect to find a grande caramel macchiato at Teavana, the tea bar doesn’t sell any coffee.

The Tea Bar couldn’t look or feel more different than it’s coffee pushing counterpart. Adorned with warm colors, mood lighting and a wall of loose leaf teas, Teavana aims to appeal to customer’s comfort, inviting them to sit and savor their order.

Teavanna Cafe Snacks
With a wide array of gourmet menu items Teavana’s prices are a bit steeper than what Starbucks customers are used to. Featuring dishes such as Lemongrass Ginger Chicken Rice Balls and Roasted Butternut Squash Strata prices can be upwards of $14.95 for their most expensive salad to $3.95 for standard baked goods such as scones. Tea lattes start at about $5.95 which is about $1 more than your favorite venti Starbucks drink.

Starbucks hopes to break into the tea industry with its new Teavana Bars with plans to open at least 1,000 more tea bars in the next 5-10 years. These specialty tea bars shouldn’t compete with existing Starbucks stores as most tea drinkers strictly stick to their loose leaf beverage of choice.

Seattle is said to be the future home of Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar’s second nationwide location.

H/T + PicThx USA Today

By Ashley Khawsy

Ashley believes in breakfast for dinner, sushi burritos, and the fact that there's always room for dessert. She moonlights as a pastry chef baking up sweet treats for her business, Smashbakes.

2 replies on “Starbucks Reaches Teavana With New Tea Bar”

Small leaf tea makes better
tea than large leaf.

The opening
of the first of the Teavana tea shops by Starbucks indicates that the Large
Leaf Tea Party has succeeded in defining large leaf tea as the best quality.
You will look in vain in the offerings of most so-called up market tea shops
for fannings or small leaf teas. The simple fact is that there are good and bad
qualities of large and small leaf tea. By putting forward the notion that large
leaf tea is the best and makes the best cup of tea, it infers that all small
leaf tea is in some way inferior. Nothing could be further from the truth. Small leaf tea makes better, stronger tea.
You just have to know to brew it for 30 seconds. Large leaf tea can never make
strong tea without bitterness.

The British
cuppa was traditionally served with milk and sugar to neutralize the bitterness
from over brewing. This became the standard way to brew tea in Britain and the
British colonies. Indian and Ceylon teas were the teas of choice in the British
Empire. The USA and Europe drank mainly Chinese teas – without milk and sugar.
Not surprisingly that became the custom and they were not accustomed to small
leaf tea except in teabags.

Teabags are
now the preferred way to drink for over 90% of the English speaking world and
when brewed for a very short time make the worst possible cup of tea – one that
is only a shadow of the cup of tea that is possible by taking the tea out of
the bag and brewing it. Even better, grind it and brew. It seems likely that
when teabags came out and people complained, there were those who said that it
was because dust and fannings, ‘the sweepings off the floor’ were being used.
It followed that all small leaf tea was inferior and hence large leaf tea was
the only way to make good tea. The conclusion was based on falsehood and
demonstrably wrong.

preference for large leaf tea is based on the prejudices of modern tea books and
the regurgitations of press releases which all ascribe to the large leaf theory,
which is an opinion based religion. Unfortunately all modern tea books are not
based on science and they should be.

Some new
scientific factors change the whole perspective of tea brewing and make
previous ideas invalid.

Staling. Tea leaves stale from the surface down
leaving the inner parts fresh while the outside is stale. The fresh part can be accessed by
grinding it. It is practically impossible to get fresh tea outside a
growing country unless it is vacuum packed. Six weeks from manufacture
seems to be the limit

The strength of a tea infusion
is proportional to the surface area of the tea particles. Large leaf tea
has a low surface area and hence a low extraction rate leading to a weak
tea. More flavour is thrown into the garbage than extracted with large
leaf tea. Small leaf has the largest surface area and hence the most
intense extraction from a given quantity of tea leaves.

Bitterness comes from tannin
and astringency. If the brewing
process does not exceed thirty seconds, astringency will be reduced to a

All traditional tea straining
devices which are suspended will cause the water to compress the tea and
force the water out of the sides of the filter without brewing the tea.
The result is under brewed tea.

conclusion is clear. If you want a weak, dilute cup of tea which can be drunk
without milk or sugar, then the large leaf route is the way. It is the way the
specialty tea sector wants to go because it can charge outrageous prices for
stale tea to customers who have never had a good cup of tea in their lives and
who do not know any better. On the other
hand if you want a fully flavoured cup of tea capable of being drunk with or
without milk and sugar, then the fannings small leaf route will give the
desired results. The cost of the tea will be a fraction of the price or you
can grind your own for extra freshness. The brewing will take 30 seconds and
the equipment cost small dollars in comparison to the BKON machine, used by Teavana
, which will take 90 seconds to brew and cost megabucks. It is only necessary
because of the unjustified preference for large leaf tea. The future lies in
the use of simple devices using small leaf tea to make the best quality in the
cup and increase the antioxidant levels in the cup dramatically. One such
device is the Chaicoffski filter.

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