It seems fitting that the woman once known for spilling the tea is now selling it, as Oprah Winfrey announced Wednesday at the Starbucks annual shareholders meeting that she and the coffee company have teamed up to create Oprah Chai.
The celebrity talk show host announced that the drink would be sold at Starbucks cafés and at Teavana’s specialty tea shops starting April 29, the Associated Press reports.
As fast-food chains increasingly carve out room for themselves in the coffee club, Starbucks aims to tap into tea as a new sales driver. Starbucks chief executive Howard Schultz said he wanted to “ignite and transform” the tea category. Schultz has said repeatedly in recent months that he wants to achieve for tea the popularity of coffee that he helped to build with his Starbucks chain, according to AP.
In December 2012, Starbucks bought Teavana’s more than 300 stores, which are located mostly in shopping malls. Teavana sells packaged and loose-leaf teas. There are plans to open more freestanding locations. One of Teavana’s recently opened locations in New York looks more like a cafe than a shop.
“The passion Oprah has for chai tea is not a casual preference,” Schultz said.
Winfrey shared her love of tea with Schultz at a wedding they attended last summer, and the collaboration was born. He sent chai tea to her hotel room and asked whether she would like to create her own tea for the chain.
“I’ve texted him about 100 times since we were at the wedding,” Winfrey told AP.
A portion of the proceeds from the sales of the Teavana Oprah Chai will go toward the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation to promote educational opportunities for young people, AP reports.
The price of Oprah Chai should be comparable to the prices of other beverages sold at Starbucks, AP says.