Looks like Oprah's getting into the overpriced beverage business! The TV/magazine/everything ever tycoon has partnered up with Starbucks for their new Teavana Oprah Chai Tea collection, on sale at the end of April.
While Oprah has not really been one to totally align with specific products, it looks like she may have found the perfect partner in terms of incredibly established lifestyle brands. And for every cup of chai sold, Starbucks will make a donation to Oprah Leadership Academy Foundation, an organization dedicated to educating South African women. Oprah commented:
"Starbucks is not just a coffee company… it's about nurturing the human spirit. What my goal in life has been, what I suppose my brand has become, is nurturing the human spirit."
(Meanwhile, baristas that have dealt with picky customers insisting on either Bhakti Chai or Third Street Chai —while totally scrutinizing the other like they're boycotting goddamn Chic-Fil-A— know that chai tea is not about nurturing human spirit—it's about nurturing smug opinions.)
This sounds really nice and adding charity to the partnership always seems to sweeten the deal, but come on. Given the skyrocketing price of coffee, Starbucks probably has no choice but to "rebrand" tea and "elevate the tea experience." Besides, we all know where this "rebranding" thing is going: vintage colonial-chic tea box sets as an homage to East Tea Company. You know, to remember the good ol' colonial tea-drinking days.
Image via AP.