Coffee retailing giant Starbucks has joined forces with US confectionery group Hershey to launch a range of “artisan-style” coffee and tea flavoured chocolates.

The launch comes after the two groups agreed last year to team up to develop upmarket chocolate.

“Chocolate has always been a special part of the coffeehouse experience,” said Wendy Piñero, vice president of consumer products at Starbucks. “We are excited to extend the Starbucks experience into the world of premium chocolates with the same passion and care as we do our specialty coffees.”

The range, available immediately, uses Starbucks coffee, Tazo tea and other coffeehouse flavours in signature dark, mocha and milk chocolate bars and tasting squares.

Retailing at US$2.99 and up, the chocolates will be sold at grocery, mass retailers, club and drugstores but are not currently available in Starbucks stores.