Starbucks hopes to do for tea what it's done for coffee with the debut of its first teahouse, Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar.
Located in the Upper East Village, the chain's first step outside the coffee world is described by CEO Howard Schultz as being the complete opposite of the Starbucks cafes we know and love. "The difference between a Starbucks coffee shop and a Teavana teahouse "is like night and day, it's much more zen-like than anything you'll find in a Starbucks store."
Other differences between the two shops include the fact that you can order a shaken iced tea at your favorite Starbucks but don't expect to find a grande caramel macchiato at Teavana, the tea bar doesn't sell any coffee.
The Tea Bar couldn't look or feel more different than it's coffee pushing counterpart. Adorned with warm colors, mood lighting and a wall of loose leaf teas, Teavana aims to appeal to customer's comfort, inviting them to sit and savor their order.
With a wide array of gourmet menu items Teavana's prices are a bit steeper than what Starbucks customers are used to. Featuring dishes such as Lemongrass Ginger Chicken Rice Balls and Roasted Butternut Squash Strata prices can be upwards of $14.95 for their most expensive salad to $3.95 for standard baked goods such as scones. Tea lattes start at about $5.95 which is about $1 more than your favorite venti Starbucks drink.
Starbucks hopes to break into the tea industry with its new Teavana Bars with plans to open at least 1,000 more tea bars in the next 5-10 years. These specialty tea bars shouldn't compete with existing Starbucks stores as most tea drinkers strictly stick to their loose leaf beverage of choice.
Seattle is said to be the future home of Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar's second nationwide location.