Catherine Felegi is the founder and author of the blog Tea Love, a blog dedicated to all things tea-related. You can find this post and others on her page, http://cafelegi.wordpress.com/.
Oh, to live in Seattle! As much as I love my little town o' Cranford, New Jersey, Seattle seems like the place to be for tea right now.
Why, do you ask? Seattle is home to Starbucks, which is now opening up a Tazo tea store with over 80 varieties of loose tea! Come October, you can go into this shop, mix your own tea with the help of some tea experts, and purchase your creation by the ounce.
This store will be an expansive 1,700 square foot area. Traditional drinks, like iced tea and tea lattes, will still be sold. But the blending stations are really what makes the store stand out. Imagine the smells, the looks, the taste of all this fresh tea in one store and your own personal "partner" helping you choose the perfect blend for your tastes.
As of right now, Starbucks is coming out saying that they don't plan on opening more of these stores. Obviously, I would absolutely LOVE them to open more. However, if the opportunity presents itself and the store proves to be a success, I would personally bet that they would open up a few more. And why not? You can find a Starbucks at practically every street corner. They've even taken over India, a nation that is ready to declare tea its national drink! Branching out into another relaxing hot beverage just seems natural.
This store is a huge step in the right direction for tea. The popular coffee company has seen the worth and quickly rising popularity of tea and is starting to invest in it. News articles are starting to churn out more and more stories about the miracle properties of rooibos, green tea and white tea. Specialty stores like Teavana are popping up in malls and gaining followers who never realized how sweet a cuppa could be. Fanatics are even going as far as to have Mad Hatter Tea Party-themed weddings! Obviously, we are in the midst of something big, and it doesn't seem to be stopping any time soon.
So, tea readers, sit back, relax with your cup of tea and witness the revolution in the drink world. Perhaps tea will once again be bigger than coffee in the US?