Starbucks drips further into tea market with $620 million acquisition of Teavana

Nov. 15, 2012

Coffee isn't enough for Starbucks. The chain wants to be the world's tea specialist, too. To prove it, the company just spent $620 million to buy Teavana Holdings Inc., a company that sells high-end loose leaf teas in 300 shopping mall locations, according to the Associated Press. Starbucks hopes to take Teavana beyond the suburban mall, however, by creating stand-alone shops around the world.

This is just another way for Starbucks to expand beyond its cafes; Last year, it bought La Boulange for $100 million and also added Evolution, a fresh-juice maker, to its list of assets for $30 million.

Teavana will join Starbucks' other tea brand, Tazo, which is opening its first tea-centric shop this week near the chain's headquarters in Seattle. Although Tazo teas are sold in all Starbucks locations, this shop will concentrate specifically on tea, allowing customers to buy specialty drinks but also loose tea leaves and packaged chocolates.

CEO Howard Schultz said the shop will be a "learning laboratory" for the development of Teavana stores.

Starbucks launches holiday freebies

All Starbucks locations are giving its customers who purchase one of its holiday lattes a buy-one, get-one free deal from 2 to 5 p.m. today through Nov. 18.

Beverages eligible for the deal are the Peppermint Mocha, Gingerbread Latte, Eggnog Latte, Caramel Brulée Latte and Skinny Peppermint Mocha.

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