Starbucks ditches its struggling Teavana 'Tea Bar' concept

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Starbucks is finally ready to write its Teavana "tea bar" experiment off as a loss. In 2012, the chain forked over $620 million in cash for the tea line, and Howard Schultz boasted the acquisition presented "a $90 billion global market opportunity."

Now the company says the stores haven't lived up to expectations, so it's time to say good bye: New York City's three Teavana locations will become plain old Starbucks by the end of April, and the one in Beverly Hills will just close. Seattle's location will keep operating, although that's not too surprising since the chain always runs a handful of experimental cafés on its home turf. Anyone still interested in the Teavana tea experience will have to visit one of the 350 retail stores.

Starbucks's new earnings report was called "gangbusters" by some, but the ongoing struggles with its subsidiary brands are real, at least in America. Last year, the chain also pulled the plug on the 23 standalone stores run by La Boulange, the celebrated San Francisco bakery it bought for $100 million. Curiously, Starbucks earlier this month announced Teavana would debut in India, which Starbucks is describing as the latest "major, major business opportunity."

In short, Americans seem to hold a place for exotic teas, just not the Starbucks kind. Its tins of oolong and matcha were apparently something not even Oprah could get Americans to care about, despite her generous offer of selfies.

See photos of Starbucks locations around the world:

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Starbucks locations around the world
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Starbucks ditches its struggling Teavana 'Tea Bar' concept
A woman walks into a Starbucks Coffee, Monday, Jan. 11, 2016, in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)
People walk past the first Starbucks to open in Bogota, Colombia, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. The three-floor coffee house in Bogota is the first of 50 that the Seattle-based company plans to open here in the next five years. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara)
Baristas Truong Nguyen, left, and Ben Ruthruff, right, talk with customers near a display of special Seattle Seahawks Starbucks cards on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, at a Starbucks store in Seattle. The Seahawks began a one-week fund-raising campaign Wednesday with Starbucks to benefit Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll's A Better Seattle program, which seeks to reach at-risk youth and prevent gang violence. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz poses for the photographer before a press conference in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, May 13, 2013. Schultz, visiting Bangkok this week to mark the coffee giant's 15 year anniversary of opening in Thailand, said Monday the coffee chain's first stores in India and Vietnam have been received positively and it might soon be time to give Myanmar a shot too. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Two customers sit outside a Starbucks vandalized by angry protestors in opposition to Mexico's newly sworn-in president, in Mexico City, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2012. Protests began early Saturday morning with violent confrontations in the streets and protest speeches from opposition parties inside the congress, where Enrique Pena Nieto took the oath of office. Protesters continued vandalizing downtown businesses, smashing plate glass windows and setting office furniture ablaze outside. (AP Photo/Eduardo Verdugo)
Pedestrians walk past a branch of the Starbucks cafe chain in west London, Monday, Dec. 3, 2012. A committee of British lawmakers says the government should "get a grip" and clamp down on multinational corporations that exploit tax laws to move profits generated in Britain to offshore domains.The committee says major multinationals including Starbucks, Google and Amazon are guilty of immoral tax avoidance. Starbucks announced it is reviewing its British tax practices in a bid to restore public trust. (AP Photo/Alastair Grant)
In this photo take Dec. 3, 2010, a Starbucks logo is displayed at a store in Philadelphia. Starbucks Corp. said Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2011, that customers with certain BlackBerry smartphones, iPhones and iPod touch can now use those devices to make purchases at all of its U.S. company-run stores.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
In this Feb. 14, 2010 photo, a sign outside a Starbucks hangs over the Riverwalk with the Navarro Street bridge in the background in San Antonio, Texas. Starbucks plans to begin paying a 10-cents-per-share cash dividend to investors.(AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
FILE - This file photo made Nov. 2, 2009, shows a Starbucks coffee shop in Arlington, Mass. Starbucks releases quarterly earnings after the close of the market Wednesday, July 21, 2010. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola, File)
Shown Tuesday, August 11, 2009 is a Starbucks Coffee shop at Adriatrica, a development in McKinney, Texas, designed to look like a Croatian Village.(AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)
A worker cleans the sign outside one of many Starbucks outlets in Beijing Friday April 27, 2007. An Internet campaign was started in January calling for the removal of a Starbucks coffee shop from Beijing's famed Forbidden City. Critics say its presence in the former imperial palace is a smear on China's historical legacy. (AP Photo/Greg Baker)
** FILE ** South Korean tourists queue up to buy coffee at an outlet of Starbucks at the Forbidden City in Beijing, China, in this Thursday, Jan. 18, 2007 file photo. A member of China's legislature has revived calls for the removal of a Starbucks coffee shop from Beijing's Forbidden City, saying its presence was a smear on China's historical legacy, the official Xinhua News Agency reported Sunday March 11, 2007. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan, File)
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