When Starbucks announced its agreement to acquire the 300-unit Teavana retail tea brand in November for $620 million, the coffeehouse giant’s chief executive Howard Schultz pledged to “do for tea what we did for coffee.” Considering that Starbucks was the chain that brought premium coffee to the masses, that was good news for those who have long promoted premium tea. It was a sign, they said, that tea’s time had finally come, and that coffee-loving Americans ...

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