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Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.
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Made-to-order tea beverages
Teavana Corporation is an American tea company, which previously had locations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, and the Middle East. On December 31, 2012, Starbucks acquired Teavana in a deal with an estimated value of $620 million. On July 27, 2017, Starbucks announced it would close all 379 Teavana stores by 2018. However, a very limited variety of Teavana products continue to be sold at Starbucks.
Teavana was started in Atlanta, Georgia in 1997, with the opening of a teahouse at Phipps Plaza. Teavana was founded by Andrew T. Mack, and his wife, who invested their life savings into the business. Their idea was inspired after a road trip, noticing the gravitation of Americans towards fine wines and coffees in the United States.
In late 2012, Starbucks stated it would pay $620 million in cash to buy the company. Three class-action lawsuits were commenced by shareholders of Teavana concerning the Starbucks buyout; these were settled on December 14, 2012 (subject to court approval). The acquisition of Teavana by Starbucks was formally closed on December 31, 2012. On July 27, 2017, Starbucks announced it would close all 379 Teavana stores by 2018, partly due to underperformance. However, in 2017, Simon Malls sued Starbucks over Teavana closures.
Teavana currently offers two types of tea after being downsized: hot tea sachets and premade iced tea. Their drinks can be found at most Starbucks locations, as well as in many supermarkets and stores where tea is sold.
Teavana has previously offered premium loose-leaf teas and herbal infusions, with tea categories such as: white, black, green, flavored & scented green, "blooming" white, black, flavored & scented black, oolong, and pu-erh teas, along with rooibos, herbal, organic matcha green tea, blooming tea, and Yerba Maté infusions. Teavana retail stores had previously offered various blends of each type of tea, and consistently promoted cross blending different types of tea. Teas were offered in several formats, such as loose-leaf tea, pre-filled tea tins, and tea sachets, or brewed as a to-go beverage.
In addition to high-quality loose tea, Teavana sold teaware products, including cast iron Tetsubin teapots, Bone China teapots, Japanese porcelain teapots and cups, stove-top kettles, electric kettles, milk frothers and automatic tea makers (produced by Australian company Breville), Japanese hot water dispensers and electric tea makers (produced by Zojirushi), tea measures, tea infusion and steeping wares such as the Teavana® Perfectea Maker, contour tumblers, and tea infuser mugs. Teavana also sold all-natural rock sugar (non-GMO beet sugar) sourced from Belgium.
Teavana specialty retail stores were usually located in upscale shopping malls and designed to be "part tea bar, part tea emporium." Individual cups of tea to go are offered for sale, and the retail locations offer free samples of various tea blends and tea varieties at their front door and within the store. There were over 100 loose-leaf teas available on the Tea Wall to try. Accessories for tea-drinking, such as cups and pots were also available in the stores.
On July 27, 2017 the company's parent, Starbucks, announced the full closure of all 379 Teavana retail locations, to be completed by the second quarter of 2018. Simon Property Group, one of the largest U.S. mall operators, demanded Starbucks keep running the Teavana shops located in its malls, arguing in part that their closing would reduce traffic to surrounding stores and in December 2017 a judge ruled in Simon's favor. On September 15, 2017 Cadillac Fairview sued Starbucks over Teavana closures in Canada.
However, on January 18, 2018, Simon and Starbucks reached an agreement that would close the remaining 77 Teavana stores in Simon malls, ending the tea shop's existence as independent storefronts after nearly 21 years in business.
Teavana partnered with a few charities and organizations to help give back. Starbucks and Teavana are known for providing jobs to veterans and military spouses, and have hired over 4,000 total. They also help their partners enroll in Arizona State online classes through their College Achievement Plan.
Supporting youth education
In April 2014, Starbucks and Teavana collaborated with Oprah Winfrey to develop a tea called Teavana Oprah Chai Tea, along with additional tea accessories. For every sale of Oprah Chai Tea products, Starbucks will make a donation to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Foundation Academy which supports youth education and funds the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls in South Africa. Starbucks describes the tea as, "a bold infusion of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, and cloves, blended with loose-leaf black tea and rooibos." Teavana and Starbucks have raised $5M in support of education for young people with the chai tea. In result of the partnership, Teavana then partnered with the New York-based organization Girls, Inc. to further support youth education and mentorship. The organization supports young girls to be strong, smart, and bold while providing them with experiences to help them when looking towards higher education and career paths, but has been criticized for pushing divisive negative misinterpretations that are not supported by data (such as the idea that bullying primarily affects girls, when all the data shows otherwise, such as a recent Pew study).
Teavana has donated $100,000 to benefit young women across the U.S. and Canada, helping them transition between high school and college.
Ethical tea partnership
On April 1, 2015, Teavana joined the Ethical Tea Partnership (ETP). The partnership is a non-profit that ensures ethical production and distribution of tea products, by "factory health and safety, safe use of agrochemicals, human resource management, and environmental management." Also, ETP monitors for issues that cannot be tracked with audits and certification, such as discrimination and living conditions of the workers.
- Tazo, another tea brand, formerly owned by Starbucks
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