starbucks

It’s no secret: if there are two brands struggling to stay relevant today, they’re Starbucks and Oprah. Not that we don’t love a good cuppa or a Super Soul Sunday now and again, but for most of us, the $5-a-day latte habit is a thing of the past. Just like watching Oprah on a daily basis.

So, perhaps it makes sense for Oprah to partner up with Starbucks and Teavana to create Teavana Oprah Chai.

Beginning April 29th, the chai tea will be sold in Starbucks and Teavana stores all across the country. A portion of proceeds will be going to the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation, benefiting educational youth opportunities. That’s a worthy charitable cause.

But still.

Does the world really need a signature Oprah tea, no matter how perfectly blended the spices are? And doesn’t she have enough money to support her foundation all on her own without guilt-tripping us into sipping on a hot chai latte in the middle of spring just because Oprah asked us to?

There are better coffees available for less money. Or if you really want to spend that kind of money, there are now better coffee shops. There are craft beans being brewed in Chemexes and French presses for smoother sipping. There’s better daily television too. (Or how about no television at all.)

The Queen of “Favorite Things” has never really aligned herself as a spokesperson for specific products, so why now? Why chai? And really. Why Starbucks?

She’s quoted as saying that “Starbucks is not just a coffee company… it’s about nurturing the human spirit. What my goal in life has been, what I suppose my brand has become, is nurturing the human spirit.” So, all her hard work, all her years of interviews and inspiration were really just bits of wisdom we could have gotten from a note scribbed on our latte cup by a barista? Doesn’t really make your mouth water, does it?

Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

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Image: ei patojo