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Starbucks Opens First Teahouse

Teavana is Zen-like approach to the international tea-drinking market

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Starbucks Corp. (Seattle) is opening its first Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar today in New York.

USA Today describes the store “with fashionably-gray walls, light wood and museum-esque lighting, it looks very different from Starbucks, and it has no Starbucks branding. The most striking visual feature in the store is the Teavana ‘Wall of Tea’ with a range of loose-leaf teas and tea blends.”

“When you walk in, you see a shrine to tea,” Starbucks ceo Howard Schultz told USA Today. “The store demonstrates our knowledge of tea and romances the theater of tea with a visual experience. It's much more Zen-like than anything you'll find in a Starbucks store.”

A second Teavana is scheduled to open in Seattle around Thanksgiving. Starbucks has said it hopes to open at least 1000 more of its freestanding Teavana bars in North America and many more outside the U.S. The size of the global tea market has been estimated at $90 billion.

Over the next five to 10 years, projects Schultz, “We'll do for tea what we've done for coffee.”

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