American talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey has launched a new range of “luxury” teas apparently inspired by her high profile visit to a Mumbai slum in 2012.
‘Oprah Chai Tea’ went on sale at Starbucks outlets across the US and Canada on Tuesday.
Winfrey says she was inspired by a “memorable and incredible” cup of tea given her during a visit to the tiny home of Parvati and Rajesh Hegde inside a South Mumbai slum as part of her TV special about India.
Much like that cuppa, ‘Oprah Chai Tea’ is infused with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves.
Unlike the Hegde’s offering however, ‘Oprah Chai Tea’ will retail for about $3 and is also available as part of a gift set which includes a package of tea with a tumbler and stainless steel filter for $40, or with a tea pot and two cups for a hefty $120, although it’s not yet known if the Hegde’s will be receiving any royalties.
The range was developed jointly by Oprah and Teavana, a subsidiary of Starbucks which sells specialty teas and teaware across the US.
Starbucks, which recently entered India in a joint venture with the Tatas, hopes to do for tea what it did with coffee in America.
Although per capita consumption of tea is growing, it is less than a third that of coffee, and that too without the wide array of spin-offs that have been confected from coffee.
Tea accounts for less than ten per cent of Starbucks’ US sales.
There’s no word yet on whether ‘Oprah Chai Tea’ will be made available in the UK.