Query to Starbucks

I drink Tazo tea, a brand of Starbucks. I noticed that Japanese tea from the area of Fukushima had been tested hot for radiation but was being shipped out anyway.

I queried Starbucks about point of origin for their tea:

—–Original Message—–
From: Starbucks Customer Care
Sent: May 1, 2012 8:48 PM
To: uniquelibrary@earthlink.net
Subject: Re: ingredients <<#678820-8330292#>>

Hi lawrence,

 We appreciate your questions regarding nutrition information available on our website at www.starbucks.com. Based on customer feedback, we have recently changed our website to provide a more thorough and detailed resource for customers seeking nutritional information on the food and beverages we serve in our stores.

 You can explore these changes by clicking on the link below.


From there, you can use the Food, Drink or Nutrition tabs to see specific ingredients, potential allergens, nutrition facts and other information pertaining to the item you are interested in purchasing.

Please note that nutrition information found is calculated with data provided by the suppliers who manufacture food and beverage items for Starbucks Coffee Company. Variations may exist due to periodic changes in formulations. Serving sizes may also vary from those used to calculate nutrition information. We attempt to provide product information that is as complete as possible. Product changes or new product introductions may cause this information to become outdated or incomplete. Data is rounded to meet current U.S. FDA NLEA guidelines.

Thanks again for writing us.  If you ever have any questions or concerns in the future, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.



customer service


They gave me a link to the verbiage on the tea box.

I queried them again asking for country of origin:

— Original Message —
From: lawrence turner <uniquelibrary@earthlink.net>
Received: 5/5/12 3:48:14 PM MDT
To: Starbucks Customer Care <info@starbucks.com>
Subject: Re: ingredients

want to know country of origin of Tazo tea

did not see that listed !

selling radiated tea in Japan


Dear Lawrence,

The information that we supplied you is all we are allowed by law to give out.

Thanks again for writing us.  If you ever have any questions or concerns in the future, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Collin B

customer service


Does anyone know which law precludes a corporation from giving information on the country of origin?


Tazo Tea was founded in 1994 by Steve Smith (who retired from Tazo in 2006) along with his business partners Stephen Lee and Tom Mesher. Lee and Smith had co-founded the Stash Tea Company in 1972. Stash was sold in the fall of 1993 to Yamamotoyama, a Japanese tea company.

Smith used his corporate connections within the food services industry to convince many restaurants, food stores, and tea houses to carry the new Tazo Teas. Smith approached Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in 1998, seeking further investment partners. The company was purchased by Starbucks in 1999 for $8.1 million.

1 thought on “Query to Starbucks

  1. Funny, I have been literally harassing them for a week now about the origin of their tea. They keep sending me evasive answers, or referencing things that have nothing to do with my question. Tazo is owned by Pepsi, and is just as bad as the other big corporation products imo, it is just hiding behind a ‘green’ label.
    Have never head of a law like the one you mentioned. Ridiculous!

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