Washington: The big-hearted Mumbai slum-dweller couple Parvati and Rajesh Hegde served the American media mogul home-made masala chai, laced with Indian spices. It provided the TV superstar the inspiration, if not the formula, to launch yet another product that will mint millions. Oprah herself acknowledged the origins of her chai in a promotional video on her website soon after her India visit.
Starbucks launched "Oprah Chai Tea" across America,on Tuesday, with nary a mention of the Hegdes or its Indian origin, saying it was "personally developed by Oprah Winfrey in close collaboration with Teavana's leading teaologist."
Teavana is an Atlanta-based tea retailer that Seattle-based Starbucks acquired in 2012 for $ 620 million.
The company said in a statement, "Oprah's personal tea passion and the deep expertise of Teavana have resulted in a distinctive blend featuring a bold infusion of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, blended with loose-leaf black tea and rooibos,".