Try to walk five blocks of any major city in the U.S., and you're bound to come across at least one of Starbucks's 13,279 coffee shops. And if Starbucks has its way, a cup of tea could be the next cup of Joe.
The coffee giant will open its first tea bar tomorrow under the Teavana Fine Teas brand it acquired last year. You won't find coffee at the Teavana Fine Teas + Tea Bar shop, which is located in New York City's swanky Upper East Side neighborhood, but instead you can purchase various teas, novelty tea-based drinks, and small plates for between $3 and $15. Accordingly, CEO Howard Schultz told reporters he expects the average Teavana purchase to be higher than one at Starbucks, though the tea bar may not receive as many total customers on a given day.
The tea bar as a destination spot is also a strategy shift for the Teavana brand, which currently operates about 300 retail locations, mostly in shopping malls, that sell unprepared loose-leaf teas and brewing accessories, rather than freshly made drinks and food. Schultz says he plans to bring more Teavana shops to urban areas.
[Image: Flickr user motograf]