Starbucks To Launch Tea Bar In New York

Soon, your tea can be as complicatedly named and over priced as your coffee.

Famous for its mind bogglingly complex menu offering the most specialised service man has ever heard of (eg. The Non Fat, Half Caff, Tripple Grande, Quarter Sweet, Sugar Free Vanillia, Non-Fat Lactaid, Extra Hot, Extra Foamy, double shot of Caramel Macchiato with chocolate syrup… and hey, since it’s coming up for Halloween, why don’t we throw a little Pumpkin Spice on there, make an occasion of it) and painfully hipster reputation, super-brand Starbucks is opening… a tea shop.

More specifically, the global café chain is debuting a new Tea Bar in New York, hoped to be the first of many to launch globally. Here, the specialty will be the worlds other favourite brew, tea.

It will open under the Teavana brand, purchased by Starbucks in 2012 for more than $600m. This will be in addition to the 300 locations already functioning in the Us, Canada and Mexico, all under a similar style to the coffee chain.

Selling the idea as offering “a wide range of unique hot brewed and iced teas, tea lattes and distinctive sparkling and tea fusion beverages”, this new venture sounds not dissimilar to their current service of offering obnoxiously titled coffees that take longer to order than to drink.

Lately, specialty teas have been seen in the hands of geek spec wearing, skinny jean clad teens and suited and booted business type folk, as much as the bitter black stuff. Growth in commercial tea has been exponential in recent years and this move is one expected to be followed by other coffee chains.

America consumed more than 79 billion cups of tea in 2012 and sales have grown to 15 times what they were 10 years ago, with sales from the Tea Association estimated at $4.8bn.

It is thought that similar stores will be launched in the UK if the idea takes off in America, with the UK being the worlds seventh most enthusiastic tea drinkers.

It seems that the humble days of milk and two sugars may be gone, now that Starbucks menu planners have got their hands on the simple tea leaf.

Words by Gemma Clark