Teavana Oprah Chai will be sold in Starbucks and Teavana stores across the U.S. and Canada beginning April 29, with a portion of the proceeds donated to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation to benefit educational opportunities for youth .
The tea is described as a bold infusion of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom
and cloves, blended with loose-leaf black tea and rooibos. Arriving at
the perfect chi blend was a process -- one captured in the above
behind-the-scenes videos of Oprah's visit to Starbucks headquarters in
Seattle."I was a little nervous coming in today," Oprah admits in
the video. "I woke up at 2:16 this morning thinking about choosing the
best tea that would satisfy me and also satisfy all of our customers."Standing
at a table lined with different spices, Oprah begins the process of
selecting the tea's flavor profile. Along with Teavana's director of tea
development, Naoko Tsunoda, Oprah first gets a handle on the available
spices, which include black pepper, chicory, cardamom, cloves, ginger
and red rooibos, among many others. "I like things really spicy," Oprah says. "I like things chai'd up."As
she smells and tastes the various blends of tea, Oprah hones in on the
flavors she likes. One is "not robust enough," another is "more
enticing." "As this process was going on and on, I could tell that
[the] tea needed to be a little more robust and fuller-bodied, because
it was a little too soft," Oprah says. "I was thinking it needed a
little more ginger and a little more pepper… I like things that have a
little kick to them." Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz participated in
the tea tasting and shares one of his favorite moments in the process.
He says, "At the end, when she tasted that, watching her expression and
her smile, saying, 'This is my tea!' -- [that] was fantastic."