Starbucks to Open an All Tazo Tea Store in Seattle

Meeting for coffee is so 2011.

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John Gress / AP

Tazo Quality Assurance employee Anthony Tellin prepares to taste Passion tea in Tazo's tasting lab in Portland, Ore.

The Starbucks beverage monopoly is about to get even bigger. The cafe giant, known for providing the masses with expensive coffee on every block, announced this week that it plans to open its first all tea store by the end of 2012.

The new shop will open in October and sell 80 different varieties of the company’s already beloved Tazo tea. The store aims to be more interactive than the average coffee shop, giving customers the chance to work with employees to make their own new tea taste and to buy their own personal blend by the cup or ounce. (Just when you thought Starbucks orders couldn’t get more confusing!)

“This store is really a tea playground with a more interactive and engaging community,” Seattle-based Starbucks spokeswoman, Holly Hart said.

Hart compared the store to a wine tasting, saying that fans of tea would be able to walk around and talk about different brands and flavors.

This new store will join the ranks of Starbucks-owned brands, which includes Seattle’s Best Coffee, Evolution Fresh, and the newly acquired Bay Bread LLC. Starbucks purchased Tazo in 1999 for $8.1 million – that value has now grown to $1.4 billion according to Hart.

“It’s not going to be the typical grab-and-go experience,” Hart added, “It’s very much about…immersing yourself in all things tea.”

We suspect tea fans are more than ready to seep.

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