Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Starbucks Empire

If you're an avid tea drinker, you might tend to view Starbucks with a measure of antipathy. Then again, you might tend to view Starbucks with a measure of antipathy even if you're not an avid tea drinker. Yes, I know Starbucks owns Tazo Tea and serves it in their cafes. But let's face it, they were never known for their tea, are not now and probably never will be.

If you need another reason to mutter about the evil Starbucks empire - on which the sun probably never sets - take a look at this ABC News report on how they're infiltrating that great tea-drinking empire across the Atlantic. Yeah, that one. As the article's sub-title says, "Tea Is Still No. 1 in the UK, but American-Style Coffee Houses Are Gaining Ground."

According to the report, there are now "2,700 American-style coffee bars in the United Kingdom." Starbucks leads this pack, as you might have guessed, with 530 outlets.
If you're hoping this is just a fluke, consider this article, from India's Telegraph. It seems that nowadays the phrase "all the tea in China" doesn't have quite the resonance it once did. Which is a roundabout way of say that coffee is gaining a foothold there.

As of May 2006, when this article appeared, they were looking for 10,000 trained coffee makers and servers in Beijing and Shanghai alone.

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Catherine said...

How about all the Starbucks opening in Dublin? When I was there in 2003 there were absolutely none. It seems no land is safe anymore.

Aj said...

Just yesterday Starbucks introduced Red Tea Lattes and Black Tea Lattes exclusively in NJ (since Chai Tea Lattes have been so popular here) with a "Tea Party" themed launch.

This is according to a barista I spoke to on Wednesday (who, when asked if the Red Tea Latte was rooibos responded "No, it is made from the African Red Bush")- I didn't get to check out the acutal "party". I will go there this evening, to see if these drinks are worth the fuss.

-Amanda from Adagio.com/TeaMuse.com

Unknown said...

Ugh, I can't stand Tazo...they are one of the lowest teabags in my opinion....only above Celestial Seasonings in terms of recognizable brands. Only for tea-drinking emergencies. It's so stale!

-Stephanie, "The Tea Scoop"