Starbucks asks tea drinkers to pay up

Sarah Gilbert

Tea has long been considered both a drink imparting many health benefits and -- even better -- a relative bargain. Due to a new move from Starbucks, those days are numbered.

I remember well so many times in business school, when a study group would meet at the cafe at a Barnes & Noble or at a Starbucks. Possessed of a hefty amount of student loans, but no vast pre-business school wealth (yep: many of my classmates were so lucky), I really had to pinch my pennies.

My go-to order was always tea; I could spend barely more than a dollar and perhaps feel flush enough to slip a quarter into the tip jar. I could sip my beverage and, if the discussion yawned on, ask for a refill on hot water gratis and guilt-free.

Even now that I'm a bona fide adult, I have three kids and this economy, so when I head to Starbucks for some alone time, I'm also budgeting for the cheapest drink on the menu. Tea? How perfect. The zen I need plus the price I can live with.

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