I don’t drink coffee, preferring to get my caffeine jolts from refreshing iced tea because I generally find it very drinkable without adding the calories of cream and sugar. I’ve had Starbucks passion iced tea, that fruity lime iced drink that they claimed was coffee, and the Tazo tea bags from the company they bought for $8.1 million in 1999 – they’re good, I guess, but not great.
Perhaps that’s why Starbucks has plunked down $620 million for Teavana, a retail tea store chain. Company head Howard Schultz claims that Teavana offerings from Starbucks will form a second, higher-end brand alongside their existing Tazo products. The company is probably emboldened by the early success of their Verismo system and is feeling frisky about throwing money at new ventures. I won’t venture inside Starbucks’ tea experience shops if they ever make it to the mass market, but if they try to sell me some new top shelf Teavana drink the next time I visit, I’ll give it a try.