May 28, 2024

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Red Hot Food

Tazo Tea – History and Rise to Popularity

Many people have become familiar with Tazo Tea through their relationship with Starbucks coffee. The tasty and stylish tea has gained in notoriety and is now available in most fine food stores as well as exclusively through Starbucks Coffee. Many Starbucks even sell a bottle variety of Tazo Tea’s cold drinks line. Of those who have become accustomed to enjoying a hot cup or even cold bottle of a flavor of Tazo Tea, few know the interesting history behind the company.

Believe it or not, Tazo has only been around since 1994; a very brief time for a company to rise to such prominence in the beverage world. Tazo Tea was founded by Steve Smith, who retired from Tazo in 2006. Mr. Smith co-founded the company with Stephen Lee, who still remains with them today. Tazo was an offshoot of their original venture, Stash Tea Company which was founded in 1972. In 1998, while seeking capital for his business through investors, Mr. Smith approached Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz as a potential suitor. Schultz became so enamored with Tazo, that in 1999, Starbucks purchased them in 1999 for $10.8 million.

Tazo’s success many like in their product vision. They utilize a unique approach to marketing their product. Instead of a traditional product logo and branding, they use a new age style. Each bag of tea is said to be blessed by a ‘certified tea shaman’. This very original approach allowed Tazo to gain much popularity in the tea market which is filled with many giant corporations. Of course, they aren’t all looks. The flavor of their teas is unrivaled. They use a special variety of teas and blends that allow the fullest flavor to be extracted from the tea leaves. Even now, Starbucks is switching their tea bags from Tazo’s old formula to their new one which contains full tea leaves. Tea drinkers will be delighted with the burst of flavor from the new type of tea bag.

Tazo has always prided itself on being the best tea maker around. Their vision has always centered upon the quality of their product. It is the reason Howard Schultz, a man who knows a thing or two about hot beverages, bought the company only months after being introduced to their product. Thankfully, the purchase allowed Tazo Teas to be introduced to millions of people across the country and even the world.