December 29, 2008 Coffee & Company

Steeped in Coffeehouse Tradition, Starbucks Introduces New Handcrafted Tea Beverages and Encourages Consumers to Take a Much Needed Break

With the year coming to a close, a recent StrategyOne survey* shows nearly two out of three Americans would take time to rejuvenate if they had an extra 15 minutes in their day.  But with more than half [55 percent] feeling it's difficult to make more time for themselves, on January 3, 2009 Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) introduces the perfect 15-minute break to refresh and unwind just in time for the New Year ? Tea at Starbucks.

"It's essential to take a pause and allow yourself to feel calm and at peace.  In fact, taking a break can clear your mind and enable you to be more productive during a busy day," says Lisa Drayer, registered dietitian and wellness expert.  "A tea break is a quick and simple way to rejuvenate the mind, body and soul in the New Year. And since they provide a boost of anti-aging antioxidants, a tea beverage from Starbucks offers a healthful respite in today's stressful environment."

Starbucks introduction of the new Full Leaf Tazo® Tea Lattes and Tazo® Tea Infusions is a continuation of the company's commitment to offering better-for-you options.  Most of the tea offerings are less than 200 calories for a tall size (12 fl oz) and most provide more antioxidants than an 8-ounce glass of orange juice, which are essential to protecting the body's immune system. (Click here to see a comparison of antioxidant levels in various beverages.)

Starbucks new Full Leaf Tazo® Tea Lattes are our first handcrafted tea offerings to use full-leaf tea bags in our stores, allowing customers to steep to their own taste preferences.  Starbucks Tea Lattes are made from a soothing combination of steamed milk and Tazo® tea and are available in three new varieties:

  • Black Tea Latte, a bold, invigorating combination of black tea and freshly steamed milk;
  • Vanilla Rooibos Latte, a naturally caffeine-free infusion of botanicals that unites South African rooibos (ROY'-bus), Tahitian vanilla, sweet spices and freshly steamed milk;
  • London Fog Latte, an intriguing blend of black tea, citrusy bergamot, French lavender, vanilla and freshly steamed milk.
Customers seeking a calcium boost can enjoy a new tea latte this winter, as a tall size offering contains 20 percent of the recommended daily calcium intake.
Starbucks Tazo® Tea Infusions are the perfect winter pick-me-up.  A handcrafted combination of premium Tazo® black chai tea lightly steamed with fruit juices, these non-dairy beverages are available in two varieties:
  • Berry Chai Infusion, a blend of aronia berry and black currant juices steamed with black tea and sweet, exotic spices like cinnamon, cardamom and cloves;
  • Apple Chai Infusion, a blend of apple juice steamed with black tea and sweet spices. 
For a refreshingly cool treat, customers can customize the new Starbucks Tazo® Tea Infusions by having them served over ice. 
"Tea has always been an integral part of Starbucks coffeehouse culture and winter is the perfect time to emphasize tea," said Michelle Gass, executive vice president, marketing and category for Starbucks.  "In fact, tea is the most consumed beverage around the world and represents one in ten beverages consumed in our stores.  The same way we transformed American coffee culture, we want to deliver an exceptional tea experience for customers with our new Tazo Tea Lattes and Tea Infusions."
Overall Commitment to Healthier Options
To date, Starbucks has taken numerous steps toward offering healthier options, including:
  • Introduction of healthier breakfast food offerings, including Starbucks® Perfect Oatmeal (2008)
  • Introduction of Vivanno™ Nourishing Blends, a blend of whole fruit, milk, ice and our proprietary protein & fiber powder, and free of artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners (2008)
  • Inclusion of Skinny Lattes on the menu board to make it simple to order a sugar-free, nonfat latte (2008)
  • Elimination of artificial trans fat from all products in U.S. and Canadian stores (2007)
  • Conversion to 2% milk as a beverage standard in the U.S. and Canada (2007)

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