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Starbucks to open its first Tazo tea shop

Source : AP
Last Updated: Wed, Jun 20, 2012 18:30 hrs

Starbucks Corp. is planning to open its first Tazo tea shop this fall, in yet another move to expand beyond its ubiquitous coffee shops.

The Seattle-based cafe chain says the store will open near its headquarters and will include a tea bar where customers can blend their own tea mixes with the help of a store worker the company is calling a "tea partner."

The store will offer more than 80 varieties of loose-leaf tea, tea lattes and iced teas, as well as packaged chocolates, infused sugars and honeys. Pastries and other food will also be served, as in the company's coffee shops. It will not be branded with Starbucks' "green dot" logo.

It's just the latest move by Starbucks to expand beyond its 17,000 flagship cafes around the world. Earlier this year, for example, the company announced plans to open its first Evolution Fresh Inc. juice store.

Starbucks also plans to start selling a single-cup coffee machine this fall that lets people brew lattes and other drinks at home. The company already offers other single-cup options, including K-cups that are compatible with the Keurig systems made by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc.

Starbucks doesn't yet have any plans for additional Tazo tea shops. But the company notes that Tazo is a $1.4 billion brand that it's looking to grow, as it has done with coffee.

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