Starbucks is planning to open its first tea shop, under its Tazo brand.
The Seattle-based cafe chain (SBUX) 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 ubiquitous coffee shops.
It's just the latest move by Starbucks to expand beyond its 17,000 flagship cafes. 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 also offers other single-cup options, including K-cups that are compatible with the Keurig systems made by Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.
Starbucks notes that it wants to expand its $1.4 billion Tazo brand, as it has done with coffee.
In its latest quarterly results, Starbucks said that revenue from its consumer products such as ice cream and Tazo teas rose 57% from a year earlier.
SOURCE: The Associated Press