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Tazo Tea Company
Industry Beverage
Founded 1994 in Portland, Oregon
Founder Steven Smith[1]
Headquarters Kent, Washington,
United States
Area served
Products Teas and herbal teas
Number of employees
Approximately 50 (2010)
Parent Unilever (2017–present)
Website www.tazo.com

Tazo Tea Company is a tea & herbal tea blender and distributor founded in Portland, Oregon, now a division of Unilever based in Kent, Washington.[2]


Tazo (/tɑːˈz/) Tea was founded in 1994 by Steven Smith.[1] The manufacturing and distribution was maintained by North American Tea & Coffee, a Canadian-based food manufacturing company.[3]

Tazo approached Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in 1998, seeking further investment partners. The company was purchased by Starbucks in 1999 for $8.1 million.[4]

Starbucks opened the first Tazo-branded tea shop in November 2012.[5] It closed a year later and was converted into a Teavana store.[6]

In November 2017, Starbucks sold Tazo to Unilever for $384 million.[7]


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.

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