Starbucks recently announced that they would be opening a Tazo tea store.  An entire store dedicated to tea!  I have heard in the news that this store will be located in University Village.  From the official Starbucks blogs, they describe that their early stores had lots of tea options:

“Tea has been a part of Starbucks heritage since 1971, when we were founded as Starbucks Coffee, Tea and Spices. In those early days, Howard Schultz scooped 27 different kinds of loose-leaf tea from the original store at Pike Place Market.

^ That is excerpted from this official Starbucks blog article: A Tazo Store For Our Home Town of Seattle.

With Tazo Tea heavily in the news, now seemed like a good time to write about them.  Of course, the above excerpt describing Howard scooping tea from 1912 Pike Place, must be describing the tea offerings of the early to mid 1980s – the time-frame when Howard Schultz was new to Starbucks.  And at some point in the late 1980s to mid 1990’s, Starbucks offered tea called “Starbucks Finest Tea.”

In 1999, Starbucks bought Tazo Tea.  From John Moore, producer of the blog Brand Autopsy, I learned that the posters featured in this article appeared in the fall of 1999 in Starbucks stores everywhere.  The posters were part of a brief Tazo marketing campaign, and there was an additional poster which said, “Enlightenment Shall Be Yours.”  John Moore recalls that these posters were only in stores about four weeks, leading up to the Holiday promo in mid-November.

I think these two posters are too amazing to pass up showing off here.  Everything about them is brilliant.  They’re brave, bold, confident, and draw you into Tazo.

I owe a big thank you to the former partner who mailed me the above two posters.  He’s the same person who sent me the “Coffee First” poster featured previously on this blog.

And thank you to Molly at Seattle Custom Framing for helping me out with photos.  Though it might not be obvious, sometimes it’s quite a challenge to figure out how to get good photos of large posters that want to curl up on you.  Her frame shop has a camera on the ceiling, originally installed to take photos of her work, but it’s come in handy many times for big posters.

Feel free to talk about anything Tazo Tea related.  It’s true, I am much more of a coffee drinker than a tea drinker, but I am looking forward to exploring this new concept store.  I hope it will offer more iced tea options, such as Vanilla Rooibos, or the Tazo Refresh tea.  Both of those are delicious iced.

(For more Starbucks history lessons, click here.)