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Oprah Gets Into the Tea Business With Starbucks

Proceeds For Teavana Oprah Chai Tea Will Benefit Charity

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It's tea time for Oprah.

The global media icon today announced a new deal with Starbucks for the creation of Teavana Oprah Chai Tea, whose proceeds will benefit the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation. The organization provides funding for a leadership academy for girls in South Africa.

Ms. Winfrey plugged the new product along with Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz during a joint appearance at the coffee giant's annual shareholders meeting in Seattle. The tea will be sold at Starbucks and Teavana stores in the U.S and Canada.

According to a statement from Starbucks, Ms. Winfrey "personally developed the tea with Teavana's leading teaologist Naoko Tsunoda." The tea, which is expected to hit stores before Mother's Day, is described as a "bold infusion of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, blended with loose-leaf black tea and rooibos."

Ms. Winfrey, who calls tea part of her daily morning ritual, said in a statement that "when Howard Schultz offered to have me come into the Starbucks tasting room and create my very own tea blend, I thought that sounded like such a unique opportunity and fun to the tenth power."

Mr. Schultz said the product was a "strong next step forward" in Starbucks' goal to "elevate the tea experience in the same way we did for coffee."

Shirley MacLaine
Shirley MacLaine

As part of the launch, Starbucks has created SteepYourSoul.com, which will feature original videos and articles that "inspire moments of reflection and an insider's look behind-the-scenes at how this partnership came together."

The site, which is part of the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), will include a web series branded "Super Soul Sunday," that includes interviews in which celebrity guests guests "open up about their own daily rituals." The debut on March 23 will feature Shirley MacLaine.

Beyond the site, a Starbucks spokeswoman said it is "too soon to give specific details for advertising plans."

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