Unveiling the Mystery: What Brand of Tea Does Starbucks Use?






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For tea lovers, a steaming cup of tea can be a perfect start to the day or a soothing end to a hectic day. With its extensive menu, Starbucks offers several tea options to its customers. While many may wonder about the Starbucks tea brand, it is not easy to pinpoint a single answer as the coffee giant uses various tea brands for their teas. However, Tazo tea is the most commonly used brand in the Starbucks menu, especially since Starbucks acquired Tazo in 1999. Besides Tazo tea, Starbucks also sources tea from Teavana, a premium tea brand that offers a wide range of flavors and blends. As Starbucks aims to cater to the diverse preferences of its customers, it uses different tea brands to offer a remarkable experience with each cup of tea. In this article, we will examine the different tea brands Starbucks uses and how they create their signature tea blends.

The History of Starbucks Tea

Early Beginnings

Starbucks began as a small coffee shop in Seattle in 1971, but it wasn’t until the early 1990s that they started to expand their beverage offerings to include tea. At first, they offered only traditional teas like black, green and herbal teas. However, it wasn’t until the introduction of the Tazo brand that Starbucks became known for its unique tea blends.

The Introduction of Tazo Tea

In 1999, Starbucks purchased Tazo Tea Company, which had been founded in Portland Oregon by Steve Smith. Smith was a former employee of Starbucks who had left to start his own tea company. When he sold Tazo to Starbucks for $8 million he stayed on as a consultant to help develop new blends.

Tazo quickly became known for its bold and unusual flavors which combined traditional ingredients with unconventional ones like lemongrass and peppermint.

Expansion into Teavana

In 2012, Starbucks continued its expansion into the world of tea by purchasing Teavana Holdings Inc., another specialty tea retailer. This acquisition gave them access to more than 300 mall locations across North America where customers could buy loose-leaf teas and accessories.

The move was seen as an effort by Starbucks to diversify its offerings beyond coffee and appeal more directly to health-conscious consumers who were looking for high-quality teas with unique flavor profiles.

Evolution of Tea at Starbucks

Since acquiring Teavana, Starbucks has continued to expand its line-up of unique blends under both the Teavana and Tazo brands. They have also introduced new menu items like shaken iced teas infused with fruit juices or lemonade.

Today, you can find an extensive range of hot or cold brewed teas at any one of their many locations worldwide including options such as matcha lattes made from finely ground Japanese green tea leaves blended with milk or fruit juice.

The Importance of Tea to Starbucks

Meeting Diverse Consumer Needs

Starbucks is a brand that has always been known for its ability to cater to diverse consumer needs. While their coffee offerings have always been the main attraction, they recognized the need to diversify their menu with tea options. With an increasing number of consumers seeking healthier alternatives, tea emerged as a perfect addition.

A Healthier Alternative

Tea offers several health benefits that make it a popular choice among consumers looking for healthier beverage options. It is rich in antioxidants and has lower caffeine content than coffee, making it an ideal alternative for those looking to reduce their caffeine intake.

Starbucks recognized this shift in consumer preferences early on and started offering a range of teas that catered to different tastes and dietary requirements.

Creating Unique Experiences

For Starbucks, tea isn’t just about providing customers with healthier alternatives; it’s also about creating unique experiences. They strive to offer customers an immersive experience by introducing new blends and innovative brewing methods.

Starbucks introduced Teavana loose-leaf teas in 2012 as part of its efforts towards creating unique experiences for customers through quality blends made from high-quality ingredients sourced from around the world.

Expanding Product Offerings

Since acquiring Teavana Holdings Inc., Starbucks has continued expanding its product offerings under both the Teavana and Tazo brands by introducing new flavors and blends regularly.

They have also introduced several tea-based beverages such as matcha lattes made from finely ground Japanese green tea leaves blended with milk or fruit juice infused shaken iced teas.

Their commitment towards offering diverse product offerings continues even after years since they first added tea options on their menu board which shows how important teas are becoming increasingly important within the brand.

The Quality Standards of Starbucks’ Tea

Sourcing High-Quality Ingredients

Starbucks prides itself on its commitment to sourcing high-quality ingredients for all its products, and their tea offerings are no exception. They have strict guidelines for selecting tea leaves and only use the highest quality ingredients sourced from around the world.

They work closely with their suppliers to ensure that every step of the process is conducted ethically, from growing and harvesting to transportation and storage. This ensures that customers get a consistent product each time they order a cup of tea at any Starbucks location worldwide.

Handcrafted Blends

Starbucks’ teas are handcrafted blends made with precision by skilled baristas who undergo extensive training in tea brewing methods. They understand the nuances involved in steeping different types of teas, such as white, green or black teas, and can create customized blends according to customer preferences.

This level of skill ensures that each cup of tea is brewed perfectly every time, highlighting the unique flavors present in each blend while maintaining consistency across locations.

Adherence to Quality Control Standards

Starbucks has rigorous quality control standards in place to ensure that all their products meet stringent requirements before being sold. Their team regularly tests each batch of tea leaves for freshness, aroma, color and taste profile before approving them for use in stores.

Additionally, all equipment used for brewing must be sanitized regularly to prevent contamination or cross-contamination which can lead to health hazards or alter flavor profiles.

Ethical Sourcing Practices

Starbucks is known for its ethical sourcing practices when it comes to coffee beans; however they apply these same standards when it comes down towards sourcing other ingredient like Tea leaves too. They have a long-standing commitment towards ensuring fair trade practices throughout their supply chain which extends even towards non-coffee products like teas.

The Revealed Brand of Tea Used at Starbucks


After years of speculation and rumors, Starbucks finally revealed the brand of tea they use in their stores – Teavana. In 2012, Starbucks acquired Teavana Holdings Inc., a specialty tea retailer known for its high-quality loose-leaf teas sourced from around the world.

Since then, they have expanded their range of teas under both the Teavana and Tazo brands to offer customers a diverse range of flavors and blends that cater to different tastes and dietary requirements.

High-Quality Loose-Leaf Tea

Teavana is known for its high-quality loose-leaf teas that are sourced from some of the best tea-growing regions around the world. They use only premium ingredients in their blends, which include fruits, herbs, spices, and flowers.

Their commitment towards using high-quality ingredients is evident in each cup served at any Starbucks location worldwide. It’s what sets them apart from other brands who may opt for lower quality or cheaper alternatives.

Innovative Blends

Teavana is also known for its innovative blends that combine traditional ingredients with unconventional ones like lemongrass or peppermint. They create unique flavor profiles by using flavor combinations that are not commonly found in other teas.

Starbucks has carried forward this tradition by introducing new unconventional blends under both the Teavana and Tazo brands regularly. This ensures that customers can always find something new to try while still maintaining consistency across all locations worldwide.

Strong Sustainability Practices

Another aspect where Starbuck’s choice towards utilizing Tevana brand shows their commitment towards sustainability practices through ethical sourcing methods & working closely with farmers to ensure fair trade practices throughout their supply chain.

The Brewing Process of Starbucks’ Tea

Water Temperature and Steeping Time

The brewing process is critical to the final taste and flavor profile of any cup of tea. Starbucks baristas are trained in specific brewing techniques that ensure customers get a perfect cup every time.

The water temperature for each type of tea is carefully monitored to achieve the optimal temperature, which varies depending on the type of tea being used. For example, green teas require a lower temperature than black teas.

Additionally, steeping times also vary depending on the type of tea being brewed. Green teas have shorter steeping times compared to black or herbal teas since they are more delicate and can become bitter if over-steeped.

Starbucks prides itself on offering handcrafted blends made with precision by skilled baristas who undergo extensive training in the art of brewing tea.

Their baristas understand how different types of teas should be brewed based on their unique characteristics such as taste profiles and aroma. They use this knowledge to create customized blends according to customer preferences while maintaining consistency across all locations worldwide.

Unique Brewing Methods

Starbucks offers several unique brewing methods that cater to different tastes and preferences such as shaken iced teas or matcha lattes made from finely ground Japanese green tea leaves blended with milk or fruit juice.

Customization Options

Customers have several customization options when it comes down towards their preferred cuppa at Starbucks by choosing flavors like vanilla, peach or raspberry syrup added towards their favorite Teavana blend; customers can create a custom blend suited towards their personal preference.


What brand of tea does Starbucks use in their stores?

Starbucks uses their own brand of tea, Teavana, in their stores. Teavana offers a wide variety of tea blends including black teas, green teas, herbal teas, and blooming teas. The tea is sourced from different parts of the world, ensuring that it is of high quality. Moreover, Starbucks has worked hard to create unique blends that are exclusive to their stores.

Are all of the teas used by Starbucks in their stores organic?

No, not all of the teas used by Starbucks in their stores are organic. While Starbucks does offer some organic options, the majority of their teas are not organic. However, Starbucks has a commitment to ethical sourcing and ensures that their teas meet rigorous standards for quality and sustainability. They also offer detailed information about the sourcing and production of their teas on their website.

Can you purchase Starbucks’ Teavana tea blends to drink at home?

Yes, you can purchase Starbucks’ Teavana tea blends to drink at home. Starbucks offers a range of Teavana teas in their stores and online, making it easy for customers to enjoy their favourite blend from the comfort of their homes. Additionally, Starbucks offers a range of tea accessories including teapots, infusers, and tumblers to make brewing and drinking tea at home even easier.

Does Starbucks offer any specialty tea drinks?

Yes, Starbucks offers a range of specialty tea drinks in their stores. Some popular options include the London Fog tea latte, the Youthberry white tea lemonade, and the Peach Tranquility herbal tea. Additionally, customers can customize their tea drinks with a range of milk and sweetener options to get their perfect cup.

Jessica Hartley

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