The latest in Starbucks' eternal quest for total world domination is leading us to tea: They are opening a new tea-only shop called Tazo. You probably recognize that name as the tea Starbucks already sells at its coffee shops. They actually own the Tazo brand -- did you know?
Anyway, here's my favorite part -- the part where a spokesperson for Tazo says, "We want to raise customer expectations for tea the same way Starbucks did for coffee." HOLD the F*CK UP. You're going to do what with tea? Put away that tea cozy, Grandma. Tea is about to explode. Let's pause for a moment and imagine what the glorious new future of tea fabulosity might look like.
Past expectations for tea: Drink of resignation for depressed English people. What you drink with "scones" and "clotted cream" on your bike tour through the Lake Country.
Current expectations for tea: Hot liquid you drink when you can't have/don't want coffee. You put some little bag thingy in a paper cup full of hot water. You sit and wait. Maybe you add sugar. You drink the tea and it's fine. Or maybe you got a "chai latte" and you're more buzzed from the sugar than the caffeine.
What tea could be: A chrysanthemum blooming at the bottom of your clear glass mug. Whole tea leaves you scoop out yourself. Custom blend bars with a dizzying array of options. "Chai lattes" made with whole spices, not that syrupy junk from a carton. No Natalie Merchant playing in the background, ever.
Even better: People babysit your kids while you sip tea as slowly as you damn well want to. Also, they do your taxes. Hookahs. Super-clean bathrooms. Ryan Gosling is always there to, you know, just talk. He thinks that custom blend you came up with smells great, just like your hair smells great.
Okay Starbucks/Tazo, that's my bar of expectations. Can you meet it? I'm holding my breath and a new glass mug!
Do you like tea? What would you want in a tea shop?
Image via A Girl With Tea/Flickr