Winfrey and Starbucks' chief Howard Schultz
clinked tea cups on Wednesday at the company's annual meeting as
they announced the new brew, which will go on sale at Starbucks
and Teavana stores in the United States and Canada on April 29.
Starbucks, the world's biggest coffee chain, is looking to tea
as a way to keep expanding its sales as competition grows in the
coffee market and it continues moving into new global markets.
"We are going to elevate the tea experience in the same way we
did for coffee," Schultz said, adding that partnering with Oprah
"is a strong next step forward in accomplishing this objective."
Starbucks said Winfrey developed the tea with Teavana's
teaologist Naoko Tsunoda.
Winfrey, a tea aficionado, said her taste runs toward the spicy,
robust and fuller-bodied. And to that end, "Oprah Chai" is a
blend of tea infused with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves,
and will be sold in tins or as prepared tea lattes.
For each Teavana "Oprah Chai" product sold, Starbucks will make
a donation to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation to
benefit youth education.
According to The Tea Association of the USA, tea is the most
widely consumed beverage in the world next to water. While tea
is the more popular beverage, coffee is king when it comes to
Global coffee retail sales were $75.7 billion in 2012 compared
to $40.7 billion for tea, according to market research firm
Seattle-based Starbucks' $620 million purchase of tea store
chain Teavana Holdings Inc in 2012 was its largest acquisition
(Reporting by Bill Rigby in Seattle and Lisa Baertlein in Los
Angeles; editing by Andrew Hay, Bernard Orr)
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