Over the past year, I’ve been introduced a little bit to the world of tea by Alexis Siemons from Teaspoons & Petals. I first had the opportunity to try her tea blends after dinner one night at Cook, where she poured three different after-dinner teas for the group. Alexis and I are also members of the food blogging group that meets at the Philadelphia co-working space Independents Hall, and she always brings hot and cold teas to share with the group. Alexis has been showing me that there’s so much more to tea than my typical cup of Earl Gray.
My new awareness of tea has made me realize that tea, in all its forms, is growing in popularity. Starbucks has noticed this, too. (Okay, they probably noticed it long before I did.) They’re opening their very first tea-focused shop that will sell its brand of Tazo teas.
The store will offer 80 different kinds of loose-leaf tea. That’s overwhelming for someone like me who only knows a little bit about tea, but Starbucks has already thought of how to solve that problem. The store will have “tea partners” who will help customers who don’t know what they’re doing to blend their own custom tea. The shop will also have tea lattes and iced teas. All can be sweetened with infused sugars and honeys.
I asked Alexis to share her thoughts as a tea expert. Here’s what she had to say.
While I tend to value the tea experience at home, I am looking forward to the launch of the Tazo tea shop. Above all, what excites me the most about Starbucks' new tea store concept is that it reveals the community's increasing desire to enjoy tea. Tea appreciation is growing very quickly in the United States, and the Tazo store will help educate consumers and expand their steeped horizons with their loose-leaf tea selection.
The first Tazo tea shop will be near the company’s headquarters in Seattle, Wash. There’s no set date for its opening.