Friends of Tazo:
Thanks for all your comments and questions on the Tazo Facebook page recently. I’m not just saying that! It means the world to us that you care enough to speak up, and we want to honor that with a full and truthful response to your questions and concerns. And the truth is, these answers are a little complicated. I hope we can satisfy your concerns here. If not, please let us know in the comment thread at the bottom of this post. We’re listening.
As many of you have noticed, we’ve started rolling out a new look for the 20 year old Tazo brand. We’re incredibly excited about it! Tazo has a legacy of design innovation, and we think this new look is the best thing we’ve ever done. Not everyone likes it, of course, and of course we respect that. But if you’re interested, you can learn more: Check out “Behind the Design: Redesigning the Tazo Brand” on The Dieline, a leading website dedicated to the world's best packaging design. The article features Daniele Monti, Tazo’s Creative Director.
With the arrival of the new-look packaging, a number of questions have emerged, and I’ll take them one at a time here.
Was the recipe of my favorite tea changed?
Let's be clear: Our recipes haven't changed. But the complex truth is that we do make tiny adjustments to our blends in order to achieve a consistent flavor profile.
Here’s more, from Chris Palmer, whose team of passionate tea enthusiasts is responsible for maintaining the quality of our tea blends:
“With the new packaging change no major blend formulations have changed. That said, we do make minor formulations adjustments thoughout the year to account for harvest seasons (we buy from over 30 origins) and inventory.
For example, in Refresh we use two different flavor profiles of Peppermint and use them in varying percentages throughout the year. If we don’t have enough components arriving to support production, we may push out a blend order, expedite components, or do some minor formulation changes.
However, any minor formulation adjustment we make, we taste the blend to assure the customer gets the same flavor profile each time.”
Do the new Tazo filter bags have less tea?
No. While the volume of tea may differ, the new filter bags contain the same amount of tea as the previous ones by weight. Here’s Chris Palmer again:
“Due to the density of the tea, the volume in any given package can vary based on leaf style, and take up more or less space. It’s consistency by weight that ensures the flavor profile of the tea is correct, and we’re not as concerned with how the leaf looks (in the filter bag).”
Why is Tazo’s ingredients list different?
The confusion is understandable, because as some of you have pointed out, the ingredient lists on our new packaging are different. The idea is to better highlight the distinctive flavors in our tea blends—but the blends themselves, we promise, are just as they were before the packaging redesign.
In the case of our Berryblossom White blend, customers have expressed concern that the ingredients list on the new packaging includes black tea, which wasn’t the case on the older packaging. The fact is, Berryblossom White has always included a small percentage of black tea, but we’ve only highlighted it in the recent packaging redesign.
Chris Palmer provides more detail: “I looked back at the full history of this blend and we’ve always used 1% (or less) Black Darjeeling or Black Nepal (Nepal and Darjeeling have comparable flavor profiles) in the blend. It’s just recently that we’ve called this out in the ingredients statement.”
I hope these answers begin to satisfy your concerns. Again, our sincerest thanks for sharing our passion for sourcing, blending, and sharing the world’s finest teas and botanicals. You’re what makes our day-to-day effort worthwhile, and we want to continue to earn and deserve your trust.
Director, Tazo Brand
Starbucks Senior Tea Specialist, Chris Palmer, and his team of passionate tea enthusiasts are responsible for maintaining the quality of our Tazo tea blends.