If you live in an American city, you’ve no doubt heard the lament, “There’s a Starbucks on every corner and another one on every other corner.” Competing coffee houses – apparently on every other every other corner – sported bumper snickers, “Friends don’t let friends drink Starbucks.”

On July 1, Starbucks announced that it was closing 600 non-profitable stores nationwide, with plans to open just 200 new stores in the next year. For a company known for squamous expansion practices, this announcement made stockholders and independent coffee houses very happy.

We tea drinkers should be ecstatic, and making plans . . . what if tea rooms and tea houses were to take over those 600 empty Starbucks stores? Imagine being able to walk a few blocks from work or shopping and sit down for a comfortable and delicious cup of whole leaf tea. This would be the place to introduce people to tea in a comfortable setting.

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