AP food and beverage writer Candice Choi spoke to a current owner of an NYC tea house, wondering how they felt about the arrival Thursday in Manhattan of Starbucks’ first Teavana Tea Bar. The company bought up Teavana’s 300 retail locations last fall, located mainly in shopping malls, but this is the first NYC fancy re-brand rollout.
Jenny Ho, part-owner of Harlem’s Culture Tea Bar, told Choi she welcomes the entry of the Seattle coffee giant into this adjacent product field:
Ko said she thinks her tea shop has enough unique offerings to withstand the competition. Besides, she said Starbucks’ push should lead to greater awareness about teas in general.
“That’s how everyone got into coffee, after Starbucks opened,” Ko said.
Meanwhile, in her piece for Bloomberg News, intern Minsi Chung notes that tea is the most consumed beverage in the world after water. The Upper East Side Teavana store is located at 85th Street and Madison Avenue.
P.S. The Teavana name is indeed a play on the concept of nirvana, intended to conjure up the notion of a “heaven of tea.”