Starbucks latest venture doesn't sell coffee

Summary:Starbucks made a $620 million bet last year on high-end tea brand Teavana. Prepare for a tea house explosion.

Starbucks opened its first tea bar in New York City on Thursday under the Teavana brand it purchased last year for $620 million.

Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar aims to "elevate the premium tea experience," according to Starbucks. Which means the company plans to do for tea what it did for the coffee business.

And there's plenty of opportunity. The global market for hot and iced tea in Starbucks' five key markets—U.S., Canada, China, Japan and UK—is $90 billion, according to Euromonitor Data 2012. And in the U.S. interest in tea has grown 16 percent in the past five years, according to the Tea Association of USA.

The company plans to the add Teavana tea bars throughout the next year and add a curated loose leaf tea selection for customers in its traditional Starbucks stores.

Photo: Starbucks

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

About

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter.

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