Category Archives: Tazo Tea

Tazo Tea

Starbucks to close the Tazo Tea store – A Teavana store to replace it.

IMAG6262 Tazo Tea store exterior 20 July 2013The Tazo Tea store (operated by Starbucks) will be closing this fall.  If you have not had a chance to visit it, you should go soon – within the next month or so.  It’s clear from Howard Schultz’s comments at the July 25, 2013, investor quarterly conference call, the Tazo Tea store will close.  (You can stream these investor events on the investor relations page on Starbucks.com).  I thought this entire segment discussing both La Boulange and Tazo was interesting – here is exactly what Howard said, verbatim:

In Q3, we significantly expanded our La Boulange baked-goods platform.  Truly delicious and differentiated La Boulange-branded  products  are now available in over 1,000 Starbucks stores across Northern California and the Pacific Northwest.  When you try La Boulange, you’ll understand why we’re seeing both an enthusiastic customer response and substantial lift in incrementality compared to the baked goods that La Boulange is replacing.  And we are now on track to bring La Boulange food to more than 2,500 of our stores by the end of September, including stores in New York, Chicago, Boston, and Los Angeles.

We are also deep into the strategic development and integration of Teavana.  Tea, as we have shared with you before,  is a 40-billion dollar global category.  And we are leveraging all of our unique internal assets –  including our knowledge in creating best-in-class retail experiences and handcrafted  beverages –  to create a premium tea experience for our customers, just as we have done for coffee.

You will see all of these strengths come together this fall, as we open our first re-imagined Teavana street-front store on New York City’s Upper East Side, and evolve the Tazo Tea concept store in Seattle under the Teavana brand. Over time, many unique hand-crafted Teavana tea beverages will also find their way in Starbucks stores.

While it doesn’t blare at you in that Howard Schultz quote above, it’s clear  that the Tazo Tea concept store will close.  He suggests that these changes -transforming the Tazo store to a Teavana store – will happen this fall – that’s right around the corner.

Goodbye Tazo Tea store.  I will miss you!  I loved the Tazo Tea store.  The partners there were all fantastic.  And I loved being able to buy so many rare Tazo teas available only at that store.  I fell in love with Berry Blossom White as an iced tea.  I adored being able to buy a sparkling Bramblewine Tazo Tea beverage.  I expect by sometime in September the Tazo Tea store will close, and there will be construction and remodeling to turn it into a Teavana.

For those that don’t recall, the Tazo Tea store opened new November 16, 2012.

I dropped by the Tazo Tea store on Saturday, July 20, 2013, and took all the photos in this article.  I hope you enjoy this trip to the Tazo store – please go visit soon if you can!

(I can imagine that the Tazo card will become much more collectible once the Tazo store closes.  Check out this article for photos of the collectible subsidiary branded cards – Teavana, Tazo, and Evolution Fresh.)

Edit on July 27, 2013:

I dropped by the Tazo tea store this morning, shortly after it opened.  I chatted with a partner about the changes, and ‘off the record’ he indicated that every Starbucks partner in the Tazo Tea concept store has been ‘invited to come work at the new Teavana store.’  For me, that is great news – the Tazo team is super friendly.  I hope that the new Teavana store will carry forward the wonderful momentum started by the Tazo store’s current partners.  I don’t know how much residual effect the Tazo store will have on the new Teavana store, but I am hopeful that the new Teavana store will set a high benchmark as a tea concept store.  I’m going to start dreaming of sparkling Pineapple Kona Pop iced tea – a Teavana tea that I already know that I like.

IMAG6243 Tins of Tazo Tea - 20 July 2013IMAG6242 Summer seasonal Tazo tea - 20 July 2013 - Sangria teaIMAG6241 Summer Sangria Tazo tea - Seasonal summer tea - 20Jul2013IMAG6252 Meggan - Store manager - Tazo Tea store - 20 July 2013IMAG6275 Tazo Tea store - Seattle- 20 July 2013IMAG6258 Tazo Tea concept store - 20July2013IMAG6240 Interior Tazo Tea concept store - 20 July 2013IMAG6251 Interior Tazo tea store - 20 july 2013IMAG6270 Tazo - tea store - 20 July 2013

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Starbucks to Introduce Shaken Peach Green Tea Lemonade on June 25th!

photo-6 - Peach Green Tea Lemonade at StarbucksComing soon: Starbucks Shaken Peach Green Tea Lemonade.  The official launch day is June 25, 2013.  I am pretty excited by it.  It’s a flavor that Starbucks tested a number of times before finally introducing it nationally.

In March of 2012, the Starbucks Peach Tea was tested in Austin, Texas; Columbus, Ohio; San Diego, California; as well as a few other locations.  I tried the 2012 “test” version of the Peach Green Tea Lemonade at the annual meeting of shareholders.  Note that the 2012 version of Peach Green Tea Lemonade had freeze-dried peach bits which were constituted when shaken vigorously.  As an aside, it seems that Starbucks has mastered the art of freeze-dried space food and toppings.  They rarely produce anything short of a fantastic beverage topping or inclusion.  From creme brulee caramelized pieces, to chocolate curls, to lime wedges, Starbucks knows how to do toppings and inclusions.  The 2013 test version of the Peach Green Tea Lemonade does not include an inclusion.  It’s still delicious!  I tried it just recently at a downtown Seattle Starbucks, and I liked it.  The partners and I joked that it tastes a bit like the flavor of Trolli Peachie-Os.  Of course, it uses the Tazo Green Tea beverage and adds peach syrup.

In March of this year, Starbucks re-introduced Peach again, this time launching it in a large number of U.S. cities, including  Baltimore, Austin, San Diego, Denver, Sacramento, and more.

It’s official.  Beginning June 25, 2013, Peach will be available as a syrup option everywhere in the United States.  I’m looking forward to trying it in a Frappuccino!  I still haven’t done that.

The official Starbucks blog article on the summer 2013 launch of Peach Green Tea Lemonade is here:

So what do you think?  Sounds like a refreshing summer drink to me!

(PS: I wrote about Starbucks Root Beer not too long ago, and as I understand it, Atlanta and Austin will be testing Root Beer again this summer.  I would love to hear more from readers about that.  Information on how to email me is in the right column of this blog.  Thank you.)

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Tea Tasting at the Tazo Store (featuring Berry Blossom White).

IMAG4974 Vanilla Apricot Creme tea leaves Tazo Tea store 4 May 2013Recently,  I went to a tea tasting at the Tazo Tea store.

Last Saturday (May 4, 2013), I walked into the Tazo Tea store right as Megan (the store manager)  and Aaron (a Tazo tea partner at the store) were just getting started on a tasting of three white teas:

This was a lot of fun.  While I have been to many coffee seminars, I have been to far fewer tea tasting events.  All three teas were white teas, as I have already mentioned.  The Silver Needle was the lightest in flavor profile, though interestingly had almost a buttery aroma!  Berryblossom White was a fantastic tea.  I bought a tin of the loose leaf Berryblossom White to take home with me.  I love the cranberry aroma from the tin, and I like its light berry and floral, refreshing flavor.  It had a very clean finish as a hot tea.  The friend I was with (Kristen) far preferred the Organic Vanilla Apricot tea, though I thought it had an odd lingering flavor as a hot tea.

While I was there, I tried the Berryblossom White Tazo tea as a sparkling iced tea!  I have said this many times, but I really do hope that some day Starbucks launches sparkling teas in all of their stores:

IMAG4983 BerryBlossom White Sparkling Iced Tea at the Tazo store 2

I bought some tea while at the Tazo store, and I have been making the Berryblossom White tea as an iced tea at home since then.  I do add a little sugar.  This tea is one of the best iced teas in the Tazo lineup.  However, I have discovered through some trial and error that it is super important not to over-steep a tea!  I think I’ve got it down.  It really takes no more than 3 minutes to steep this tea as an iced tea.  I’m sure the tea experts reading this already know how important it is not to over-steep a tea.

Take a look at the rest of the photos from tea tasting!  Both Kristen and I enjoyed our trip to the Tazo Tea store!

You can follow Tazo tea on Twitter too.  There is also a Tazo tea Facebook page and you can order Tazo tea from their website.

IMAG4978 Tea tasting Tazo store 4 May 2013IMAG4977 Berry Blossom White Tazo whole leaf tea - Tazo tea store 4 may 2013IMAG4973 Tea tasting Tazo store 4 May 2013IMAG4970 Megan and Aaron just before a tea tasting at the Tazo tea store 4 May 2013IMAG4969 Tazo tea tasting in progress 04 May 2013

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Starbucks re-tests the Tazo Iced Peach Green Tea!

image_1363063929920443 Peach syrup at Starbucks March 2013Starting March 5th, Starbucks entered  its second round of testing of the “Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade.” (Obviously, it can be ordered as either a Peach Green Tea or a Peach Green Tea Lemonade.)  It’s definitely on the menu right now  at selected stores in the United States.  This year’s peach tea is the Tazo Green Tea with peach syrup.  This is almost identical to last year’s big peach test, except that last year, the Iced Tazo Peach Green Tea came with freeze dried peach bits in it.  Those freeze-dried peach pieces reconstituted when shaken with water.  No peach pieces for the 2013 test.

The bottom line is that peach is here.  I tried the peach tea last year, and totally loved it.  It’s delicious.  Last year’s Iced Peach Green Tea test was primarily in areas of Texas, as well as a few other cities too.

This year’s test (as far as I can tell), appears to be in the greater Denver area, as well as Baltimore.  I have heard a rumor that the Sacramento area has the peach tea, and a few other cities.   (I’ve heard Minneapolis, Austin, and San Diego are included in this round of testing – I hope you’ll let me know in the comments if I have got this right.)  Please let me know if you’ve tried it!  If you missed last year’s article on the Starbucks Peach Green Tea, here it is.

If I haven’t been clear, I am totally ready for Starbucks to launch this nationally.  Delish.

How about you?

image_1363063790209652 Lobby peach tea sign March 2013 Starbucksimage_1363063818792264 - Tazo display peach tea test March 2013 Starbucksimage_1363063876547899 Peach green tea on the menu board Starbucks march 2013

 

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Tazo Tea Store Revisited. (Scroll down for the giveaway)

Last month, the first Tazo Tea store (operated by Starbucks) opened.  It’s been almost two months since I’ve been back to the Tazo store, so I decided I was overdue to check out what’s new.  On top of that, when I did the Tazo Tea Card (which of course can be used at any Starbucks and registered online to Starbucks.com/card) giveaway, I discovered that it was one of my most popular giveaways ever.  Lots of people wanted a Tazo card!

When I walked into the Tazo store today (December 29, 2012), I was immediately greeted by Cody, who remembered me from my last visit in.  In my first article abut the Tazo Tea store, he was the Tazo partner making my sparking iced tea.  He joked that he was disappointed that I’d only featured his hands in my last article.  He is such a nice guy!  I explained to him that I needed a few gift cards for another Tazo Tea card giveaway.  As he was getting my three cards, I snapped a very quick photo of him in action:

This store is chocked full of merchandise.  I just want to look at every little thing, and smell all the teas, despite that I’d much rather having coffee over tea.  I went around taking a ton of pictures of what’s for sale.  There were coasters, spoons, tea sets, kettles, flavor-infused sugars, bottles of green tea oil, and much more.  And of course, there were a million teas.  As to the food, the white chocolate and chai chocolate bar is still one of my favorites.  I decided to try the savory Madeleines on this trip in.  That was an interesting experience. I’m not sure that a Madeleine cookie is meant to be savory.  I really did want to like them a lot.  There were two savory Madeleine flavors: Lemon Chive and a Tomato herbal one.  (I don’t recall the exact name of the tomato flavored one).  The lemon and chive was the better of the two.  I’m sorry but these were odd, and didn’t fit in with all the other Tazo tea goodness.  So here are merchandise photos – be sure to click onto the thumbnail image to make it larger:

The problem is that I would need like 20 or 30 pictures to really take you on a virtual shopping trip in this store.

I saw something very cool happening while I was there.  James, a tea master in the store, was leading a tea tasting and cupping at the community table.  It started shortly after I arrived.  I asked the manager about it.  The store manager explained to me that earlier in the week a woman dropped by the store and asked if she experience a tea tasting for her and her whole family – the customer explained that her family was in town for the holidays, so it was a large group.  The store manager absolutely said ‘yes’ and made the time for James to sit down and walk the large family through a tea tasting.  That is so cool.  That is what I call customers connecting with a store.  I walked near the tasting and grabbed my bag, and I overheard James explaining to the family that Tazo was started by Steve Smith many years ago, and then bought later by Starbucks.  It was quite clear that the family didn’t realize that Tazo was in the Starbucks family of brands.  Everything about it struck me as so cool.  I don’t know if others get so excited about this like I do, but I love coffee and tea education.   Here’s the group at a distance:

********** TAZO TEA CARD GIVEAWAY **********

I am certain that all my readers know that a person can use a Tazo Tea card at any Starbucks store, any Evolution Fresh store, and the Tazo store.  You earn a star for each transaction at Evolution Fresh and Tazo.  The Tazo card can be registered to your Starbucks.com/card profile, and can be reloaded and used exactly like any Starbucks card.  This makes it a very unique Starbucks card! ;)

I bought three Tazo cards (one of each color) and each one is loaded with $15.00 on it.  There will be three winners.  As usual, your odds of winning depend upon the number of entries received.  You must leave a comment in this article (not an email reply to me) to be counted.  You must be over age 18.  You must post your comment and entry before January 5, 2013, at 11:00 p.m. PST.  I’ll ship the card anywhere – if you’re outside of the United States, that’s fine too.  You must share something of mine somewhere.  You can tweet any StarbucksMelody.com article.  You could share any Facebook post on this blog’s Facebook page.  You could do a Google+ share of any of my Google+ posts.  You could even share any of the Seattle’s Best Melody articles.  Or you could re-pin anything you like from my Pinterest profile.  Or, last but not least, I guess you could just retweet me!  When you enter, be sure to use a real email address so that I can easily reach you if you are a winner.  And please be patient with me in getting the winners posted, and prizes out in the mail.

I really do look forward to your comments on this fun store, or whatever it is you want to comment on.  Do let me know if you’ve made a share.

And one more time, I want to say a big thank you to the small group of readers (you know who you are!) who have bought me a cup of coffee!

I’d like to wish all of my readers a very happy 2013!  I’ll see you next year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Tazo Tea Card (giveaway)

I’m getting a kick out of my new found fun with tea.  It’s loose leaf Chai tea that’s been tickling me pink.  That, and my new Tazo Tea card:

The new Tazo Tea card comes in 3 colors, and purple is the one that has my name all over it.  It’s definitely the prettiest of the three.  By the way, if you look at eBay, it’s surprising that these cards are already starting to be sold there.  Somehow collectors started snatching them up quickly.

Here’s the skinny:

  • You can use your Tazo card as a form of payment in any Starbucks store, any Evolution Fresh store, and at the one Tazo store.
  • You can load money onto your Tazo card at any Starbucks, Evolution Fresh store, or at the one Tazo store.
  • You will earn a “star” for each swipe with this card at any Starbucks, Evolution Fresh, or Tazo.
  • And you can register it at Starbucks.com/card, just like any other Starbucks card.
  • It can be used exactly like any other Starbucks card.

Jumping back to tea, as I mentioned, it is loose leaf Chai that I have really been having fun with.  The tea looks so pretty, and smells amazing.  I always add a little milk and sugar to my tea at home.  I’m sure I’m torturing my tea to something that comes as close as possible to coffee.  I use way too much in my infuser.  And it will never be my morning beverage!  Here’s my fun with tea at home:

In case you missed, my article about the grand opening of the Tazo Tea store is here.

It’s been one month since my last giveaway!

Do you want to win one of those awesome Tazo cards?  There would be a serious coolness factor to pull a Tazo card out at the register.  And, this card actually says on the back that you can use it at Starbucks too!

Here is how you enter to win a $25.00 Tazo Tea card:

  • 1.  Leave a comment about tea.  Anything you want to say about tea.  Iced. Hot. Teavana. Tazo.  Instant.  Loose Leaf.  Heavily sweetened.  Herbal.  However you like your tea.  However, no spam comments; No posts to buy or sell items that you own or have a financial interest in.   No key words as names; and no non-civil comments.
  • 2. One entry per person.
  • 3. You must have an address within the United States, Canada, or the U.K.
  • 4.  Please watch for the winners announcement within 7 – 10 days of the contest close.  I’ve learned the lesson where I’ve seen people not reply to my emails telling them they’ve won, and never return to the site.  If you don’t contact me within 21 days of winning, your prize is forfeited.
  • 5. Leave your comment before December 06, 2012, at 6:00 p.m.
  • 6.  You must be over 18 years old to enter.
  • 7.  It’s not required, but I hope you’ll either “subscribe” or “like” this site.
  • 8.  I suggest you leave a comment using an email address that you really check.
  • 9.  As always, odds of winning depends on the number of entries.  Winners will be drawn at random.

I think many of my readers probably don’t know that Tazo has a partnership with Mercy Corps to help improve the lives of people growing tea.  It’s part of the mission to ethically source tea.  Now that Tazo Tea has taken a bold step towards center stage in the world of Starbucks brands, I hope to see that partnership developed and strengthened further.  Once upon a time, Starbucks offered a Conservation International Starbucks card.  Maybe someday we’ll see a Tazo Tea Mercy Corps card?  I can support that idea.  What do you think?

I can’t wait to read your comments.

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The Tazo Tea Store (operated by Starbucks) opens! A sneak peek inside!

The grand opening of the new Tazo tea store (operated by Starbucks) is tomorrow, the 16th of November!  I dropped by this evening for a special media preview event, and got a sneak peek inside.  It was sensory overload.  I can’t begin to describe everything, but it was so much fun being there.  It’s one of those place where people will want to smell every jar before walking out the door.  I took a ton of photos, and I still feel like I can only describe a fraction of the experience.

Inside the store, as I recall hearing, there are over 80 loose leaf teas available.  You can create custom blends, or buy your favorite teas, find lots of tea brewing merchandise, and get tea beverages from the beverage area in the back of the store.  Or, you can stand there in sensory overload.

Beverage area:

I got a big kick out of the beverage area in the back of the store.  Cody, a very enthusiastic partner, introduced me to the sparkling iced teas.  I love this idea.  I tried the “Mintly Citrus” as a sparkling iced tea and loved it.  The store has some special CO2 device which essentially adds CO2 to liquids rather than having to add a sparkling water.  This means that if you wanted a sparkling passion tea lemonade, you could do this.  A long time ago (sometime in 2008), Starbucks did a tiny test of sparkling iced teas.  I always thought it was a great idea.  Here’s the beverage area of the Tazo Tea store, and you can see Cody making my beverage:

This might have been my favorite part of the experience.  I will be dropping by again for sparkling tea.  The store will have a three or four tea options available, brewed as standard iced tea, and immediately ready to drink.  A customer can request that any tea be made into a sparkling iced tea.  My sparkling tea was fantastic.

Blending station:

You can create your own custom blends of teas.  I was a little bit overwhelmed by this.  The customer starts with a “base” which may be something like classic black tea, English Breakfast, a green tea, or one of many base teas.  Then you can blend in up to two more parts.  I picked a black tea base with a “chocolate” blend in, which were fragrant herbal pieces to be blended in.  I am doing a terrible job of explaining that.  Anyways, for those who know a lot more about tea than I, I bet this would be a lot of fun.  James, a tea blending expert, walked us through the steps of blending a tea, and mixed the tea in a bowl.  As the customer (media person) in front of me was getting their blend made, I snapped a photo just at the right time that really shows of the “blending.”

Merchandise:

There was an incredible array of merchandise.  You can buy spoons, mugs, tea infusers, flavor-infused sugars, and flavor-infused honey, chocolates, and much more.  In the picture below featuring chocolate, one bar is labeled “Coconut Curry Chai White Chocolate.”  Let me just say, that was amazingly good.  The honeys and sugars are intended by things you might use with your cup of tea.

Interior:

The interior of the store feels very large.  The open, airy design, and perhaps the few hanging mirrors, help make it feel spacious.  There is a tea cupping community table where the store intends to hold tea seminars on a regular basis, including tea cuppings.

Tea and more tea:

Of course, there was tea everywhere.  You can purchase tea in tins, or in little gift boxes, or create a custom amount of tea.  The little metal drawers shown below all contain tea.  As I think about it, I’m not sure if I heard over 80 kinds of tea, or over 100, but it was a lot of tea in the store!

Tazo card:
I have to mention the Tazo tea card.  This was totally cool.  Like the Evolution Fresh card offered at Evolution Fresh stores, this card too can be used at any Starbucks store.  It’s again created to be seamless with the Starbucks card programs.  You earn a “star” for each purchase made with a Starbucks card at the Tazo tea store.  Starbucks seemed to have learned a lot from the launch of their Evolution Fresh card earlier this year.  On the back of the new Tazo card, it tells you can use it at Starbucks!  This is, without a doubt, a collectible Starbucks card!  Very cool!

It’s hard to write about a whole store because there is so much to say.  I hope you get a chance to visit.  Tazo has re-launched their official website, and you can follow Tazo on Twitter too.

If you want to visit, here’s the address:

Tazo Tea (in the University Village shopping area)
2625 NE University Village Street
Seattle, WA
206 729 4953

(You can find all my past Tazo articles here.  I am writing this blog article late at night so please forgive the typos and grammar problems.)  For those who missed it, yesterday Starbucks announced that they would be buying Teavana.   I don’t know what that will mean for the tea experience at Starbucks except to say that I expect there to be more tea options soon.  It will be interesting to see how that develops.  I thought I’d mention it here, in case you’d missed that big tea news.

As is obvious, I had a ton of fun trying food, and tea, and smelling a million different little jars of teas.  So what do you think?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Tazo Tea Store by Starbucks – An early glimpse

The first Tazo Tea store (operated by Starbucks) has its signage up!  The store is located in Seattle’s University Village shopping area, and is in a location that used to be a Lululemon store.  I dropped by early this morning because I had heard (via a nice anonymous email using the contact me form on this site) that the signs were up.  I arrived this morning before the sun was up and started taking photos.  I have to apologize because the photos taken before the sun was up are really too dark!

I like the exterior wall design.  It is images of teacups laying in a bed of tea leaves (I presume!) with cute little sayings such as, ‘It’s nearly tea time‘ and ‘Something good is steeping.’  My favorite was definitely, ‘We’re rolling out carpets of chamomile.’

I took a few photos in the dark, and then dropped by the nearby University Village Starbucks for coffee and a scone.  Actually, I was surprised by my exchange at the register.  I handed the register barista my Evolution Fresh Starbucks Card, and she said to me, ‘Do you have another form of payment?  Or would you like to pay by a Visa?‘ before even trying to swipe it.   I simply said that it is a Starbucks Card.  I was mildly surprised, but not in anyway upset.  She swiped the card, and of course it worked.  In any case, if you’re in the area, be sure to visit this Starbucks and try some freshly-baked pastries.  I also want to mention that there was a ‘Now Hiring’ sign for the Tazo Tea store posted inside the University Village Starbucks – I took a photo of that in case any of my readers want to submit their resume.

I came out of the University Village and it was beginning to rain, but the sun was up.  I took a few more photos in the light, which definitely turned out much better!  I wish I had taken all of these photos in the daylight!  I am sorry that a few are so dark.

Anyway, here you have a first look at the Tazo Tea sign at University Village!  I think it’s schedule to open up late Autumn.  I’m excited to explore it.  Actually, I’m not much a tea drinker, but it’s new and exciting, and I will check it out once it is open.  (Trust me, if there is anyway to get a sneak peak early – hopefully there will be a media event or something – I will try to get that posted here.)

Enjoy!

 

 

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Meet Tazo Citrus: Launched, April 24, 2002 – A delicious piece of Starbucks history.

For those who recall the Tazoberry line of drinks, Starbucks introduced the “Tazo Citrus” new on April 24, 2002, shortly after the success of their first drink, Tazoberry.

Tazo Citrus was a blended green tea with tangerine and orange juices, and a hint of lime.  I found an interesting review of the Starbucks Tazo Citrus beverage in an old Houston Chronicle article (dated June 14, 2002) – the author seemed to love the drink, but think it too expensive.  Here’s an excerpt:

This week I broke my piggy bank and reached out for a “venti” (that means extra large) nonfat, nondairy, noncoffee Tazo Citrus drink, new from Starbucks.

Here’s the blueprint: a 20-ounce icy blend of tangerine and orange juices, with a hint of lime and Tazo green tea.

Total calories: 250. Fat grams: 0. Dietary fiber: 0 grams. Manufacturer’s suggested retail price: We’re talking about a Slurpee that’ll run you $3.85.

Welcome to Starbucks; who’s next, please?

For something that’s non-this and non-that, the Tazo Citrus carries a pretty hefty price tag. The green tea isn’t the only thing that’s steeped.

Naturally, Starbucks’ icy drink commands top dollar because it’s made with real fruit juice and expensive imported tea leaves from the Tazo Tea Co., which happens to be Starbucks’ private label. It’s an inside deal.

Tazo green tea boasts special “calming and rejuvenating” properties. Hey, one or the other. Stop tugging me in different directions.

Here’s something new for the Drive-Thru Gourmet – a product that actually is good for you. Each Tazo Citrus provides 50 percent of the recommended daily requirement for Vitamin C.

I know it’s a bit long, but I’d like to also share the entire BusinessWire.com press release for this beverage:

Today, customers at Starbucks Coffee Company (Nasdaq:SBUX) will use signature green straws to sip two new blended beverages to help squelch the summer heat. The first of these beverages, Mocha Coconut Frappuccino(R), is an indulgent treat of rich chocolate and real toasted coconut blended with coffee, milk and ice, then topped with whipped cream, chocolate drizzle and more toasted coconut. The second beverage, Tazo(R) Citrus, is an icy blend of tangerine and orange juices, accented with a hint of lime and Tazo green tea. Both of these tasty treats are now available at Starbucks retails stores across North America.

“For many customers, Frappuccino means summertime at Starbucks, so we set out to develop new blended beverages reminiscent of the season,” commented Howard Behar, Starbucks president, North American Operations. “This summer, the tropical flavors of Mocha Coconut Frappuccino and Tazo Citrus will take your taste buds to the beach–if only for a moment.”

Mocha Coconut Frappuccino rewards customers with the irresistible combination of chocolate and toasted coconut, perfect for a day or evening treat. A cool blend of Starbucks coffee, milk and ice, Frappuccino(R) Blended Beverage is a handcrafted beverage introduced in 1995. The original Frappuccino flavors — coffee and mocha — have been joined over the years by Espresso Frappuccino(R), Caramel Frappuccino(R), Chocolate Brownie Frappuccino(R) and now for a limited time, Mocha Coconut Frappuccino.

In April 2001, Starbucks introduced Tazo(R) Ice Blended Tea as a non-coffee, non-fat and non-dairy alternative to accompany its Frappuccino Blended Beverage. Tazo Citrus joins Tazoberry(R) in the category this summer, providing customers with their choice of two cool and healthy coffee alternatives for the summer months. For those looking for a little more indulgence, try a Tazo(R) Citrus and Cream or Tazoberry(R) and Cream, combining Starbucks exclusive Tazo Ice Blended Tea with cream and topped with whipped cream.

Starbucks Coffee Company is the leading retailer, roaster and brand of specialty coffee in the world. In addition to its retail locations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific Rim, Starbucks sells coffee and tea products through its specialty operations, including its online store at Starbucks.com. Additionally, Starbucks produces and sells bottled Frappuccino(R) coffee drink and a line of superpremium ice creams through its joint venture partnerships. The Company’s other brands enhance the Starbucks Experience through best-of-class products: Tazo Tea Company offers a line of innovative premium teas, and Hear Music produces and distributes a line of exceptional compact discs.  

CONTACT: Starbucks Coffee Company
Kelly Hewitt, 206/318-8169
http://www.businesswire.com/cnn/sbux.shtml
NOD+ number is: 800/239-0317
or
Edelman Worldwide
Carmen Zaffarano, 206/223-1606 x258 

 

I think that Starbucks is still trying to innovate around the category of non-dairy blended beverages.  Recently, Starbucks did massive testing of both the Pink Lime Frozt and the Coconut Lime Frozt, and from what I know, the response was very positive.  I think it will be interesting to see if Starbucks will again try to introduce another non-dairy blended drink into the lineup.

Hope you enjoyed the  Tazo Citrus poster and Starbucks history lesson.  You can browse the whole Tazo Tea category by clicking here.

 

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1999 Tazo tea in-store Starbucks signage/marketing: The reincarnation of tea

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.)

 

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