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Tazo Tea Company
Type Subsidiary
Industry Beverage
Founded 1994 in Portland, OR
Founder(s) Steve Smith
Headquarters Kent, Washington, United States
Area served Global
Products Teas & herbal teas
Employees Approximately 50 (2010)
Parent Starbucks as of 1999
Website www.tazo.com

Tazo Tea Company is a tea & herbal tea manufacturer and distributor founded in Portland, Oregon, now a division of Starbucks based in Kent, Washington.[1]


Tazo (/tɑːˈz/) Tea was founded in 1994 by Steve Smith. The manufacturing and distribution was maintained by North American Tea & Coffee, a Canadian-based food manufacturing company. [2]

Tazo approached Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in 1998, seeking further investment partners. The company was purchased by Starbucks in 1999 for $8.1 million. [3]

Starbucks opened the first Tazo-branded tea shop in November 2012.[4] It closed a year later and was converted into a Teavana store.[5]


A selection of Tazo teas, showing the pre-2006 logo.

The company uses "New Age"-style marketing and product labeling. For example, every box of tea was once labeled as "blessed by a certified tea shaman" and an original tag line was "The Reincarnation of Tea."

Until 2013, the logo used the Exocet typeface, slightly modified. For example, the T in Tazo was changed for readability purposes in 2006 by sliding the cross-piece toward the top of the letter.

See also[edit]

  • Teavana, another tea brand owned by Starbucks


  1. ^ "Tazo Tea Moving to Kent, WA; Starbucks Wants to Consolidate Operation". bePortland LLC. Retrieved February 21, 2013. 
  2. ^ Template:Http://www.natcinc.com/
  3. ^ "Starbucks will buy Tazo tea company". Puget Sound Business Journal. January 13, 1999. bizjournals.com. Retrieved November 13, 2012. 
  4. ^ Candice Choi; Sarah Skidmore (November 14, 2012). "Starbucks Buys Teavana". The Huffington Post. 
  5. ^ "Starbucks to open first 'tea bar' in New York City". New York Daily News. 

External links[edit]