Teavana made me a loose-tea fan, but I quickly found a larger store selling similar blends at much lower prices. Once I had my favorite tea pot, and a reliable supplier, I had no reason to go to Teavana again. I had an inexpensive, elegant beverage I could enjoy at home.
The Sage Group, which is based in Starbucks' hometown of Seattle, estimated the retail size of the U.S. tea industry at $27 billion in 2011. All types of food service were used in the estimate, but 75% of consumption consisted of iced tea. Iced tea is great, but it's just a drink.
That's a challenge for Starbucks, because iced tea generally uses bulk, black teas, while Teavana is selling a variety of leaves, aromas and relaxation. Coffee can be consumed quickly, while tea, in the Teavana sense, needs to be savored. That takes time, even without WiFi, which makes turning tables a challenge.
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