What is Tazo?
To most people, Tazo is simply a wonderful delicious beverage that begins when the world’s finest teas are blended with extraordinary imagination. Modern tea scholars believe the original Tazo formulas can still be seen on the Tazo Stone, which was uncovered when a cave on the shores of the Red Sea was revealed by an abnormally low tide following a lunar eclipse and earthquake in 1987.
How Tazo Got its Name
The name Tazo has roots in many civilizations. Tazo actually means “river of life” in Romany language, and was used as a toast to life by ancient Greeks. Tazo also means “fresh” in several Hindi dialects. In ancient Babylonia, Tazo was a rejuvenating elixir thought to have magical properties
Modern Tazo History
Modern-day Tazo had its genesis in 1994 when Steven Smith, a veteran of more than 30 years in the specialty tea industry, set out to breathe new life into the venerable tea category.
Smith used his corporate connections within the food services industry to convince many restaurants, food stores, and tea houses to carry the new Tazo Teas. Smith approached Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in 1998, seeking further investment partners.
The company was purchased by Starbucks in 1999 for $8.10 million.
How Does Tazo Buy Tea?
Tazo tea buyers are busy year-round, traveling the world to find the very best teas and botanicals available on the planet. Our master tea shaman and blenders often go directly to origin, cultivating intimate, one-on-one relationships with individual tea gardens. During the peak growing period in each region, Tazo will evaluate thousands of samples. Our tea-savvy contacts in Calcutta, Columbo and Shanghai also send us samples for consideration from the premier tea-producing estates. Even after this highly selective screening, only about one in 10 years we taste ever finds its way into a Tazo blend. And to ensure that our blends retain a consistent Tazo balance, we only buy single-estate teas, rather than teas blended at origin. We’re much more concerned about taste and aroma than trifling things like the cost of ingredients.
Tazo tea can be found in the grocery aisle almost everywhere.
You may also visit your neighborhood Starbucks location or Seattle’s Best Coffee cafes in the US and Canada to enjoy a selection of Tazo products. Tazo is served in fine restaurants too.
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