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Starbucks bets on Oprah effect for tea business

Howard Schultz, left, chairman and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, clinks tea cups with Oprah Winfrey, right, to announce their partnership to offer Teavana Oprah Chai tea, Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at Starbucks' annual shareholders meeting in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren | AP
Howard Schultz, left, chairman and CEO of Starbucks Coffee Company, clinks tea cups with Oprah Winfrey, right, to announce their partnership to offer Teavana Oprah Chai tea, Wednesday, March 19, 2014, at Starbucks' annual shareholders meeting in Seattle.

Starbucks' annual meeting seemed like an episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show" Wednesday.

The celebrity talk show host appeared on stage to announce the chai tea drink she created.

The Seattle-based coffee company says the Oprah Chai will be available starting April 29 at its cafes and the chain of Teavana stores it recently bought. Teavana had about 300 locations, mostly in shopping malls, when Starbucks purchased it.

(Read more: Tea titans: One chain's plan in face of Starbucks offensive)

With competition growing in the coffee market, Starbucks is looking to tea as a new area for growth. CEO Howard Schultz has noted he wants to make tea as popular as he's helped make coffee in the U.S.

Proceeds from the sales of the Oprah Chai will go toward charities that help youth education.

—AP

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