Teavivre - Online in 厦门, 福建省
5/5
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CHAroma rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

I’m really impressed with this company. They are insanely generous when it comes to free samples! My cupboard is overflowing with over 20 different types of free teas, each of which has enough for at least 6 cups of tea (not including re-steeps)!!

Every tea comes double packaged, so the leaves have never arrived harmed or damaged in any way. But even if they did, Teavivre has a 100% satisfaction guarantee and refund for any shipping damage.

They provide easy brewing instructions on every tea and truly the best customer service I’ve ever experienced. I wrote one bad review on one of their teas (simply because it wasn’t to my liking, not because there was something wrong with the tea), and they wrote me a private message with all kinds of information about how they make that tea, how to brew it, etc. Truly helpful and genuinely courteous.

And to top it off, they have the best prices around! I’ve compared a lot of teas for price vs. quality, and it doesn’t get more reasonable than Teavivre. Their teas are all very high quality and quite affordable, especially when you factor in that they’re shipping directly from China. I’ve gotten charged more for shipping within the United States!

For all these reasons, I’m a Teavivre convert! I highly recommend their teas.

The Spice & Tea Exchange in Washington D.C., District Of Columbia
4/5
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CHAroma rated this place
4/5
and said Edit

I stumbled into this place on my first trip to Georgetown. I was expecting more tea (as implied by the shop’s name), but their speciality is really the spices. Amazing spices!!! Ohh, how I love the black lava sea salt! How cool is that stuff? I’m going to crush it up and use it to rim my margarita glasses next time I throw a halloween party. It actually does make really great margarita salt.

Needless to say, my boyfriend and I walked out with $50 worth of spices, salts, and teas. Everything I’ve tried so far has been amazing. And it’s especially great if you love hot, spicy foods. My boyfriend can eat the spiciest stuff and still not think it’s hot at all. They had a whole wall of pure hot spices to make him happy, like habanero powder!

This is a great place that I highly recommend. It has a wide selection of spices from all over the world, including unique proprietary blends for cooking any culture’s food. Pretty affordable prices too.

Teavana in Columbia, Maryland
3/5
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CHAroma rated this place
3/5
and said Edit

Teavana is all right. The con: their strength is not their teas.

Teavana seems to have a wide selection of teas from around the world. However, most of what they sell are overly blended teas with way too many ingredients. You can’t even taste the base by the time they add all those flavorings, spices, nuts, berries, and flowers. The final product is gross.

In addition, they don’t allow the tea to speak for itself. They give kitschy, unrealistic descriptions of the tea’s “health benefits” as its selling point. I’d rather not hear false, misleading comments that the tea might prevent cancer and instead hear a concise, objective description of the tea’s taste.

Also, don’t go in expecting to try teas for free before you buy. This place will charge you upwards of $6 to try a tea on their shelves. Yes, they have a couple free samples at the entrance, but these are almost always overly blended, sickly sweet iced teas.

The pro: they have a wide selection of teaware and accessories, including some awesome brewing and steeping accessories. I’m particularly a fan of their Classic Comfort Touch Tea Strainer with lid. It’s a perfect replacement for the Piao I Teapot I had, which constantly broke after a few uses.

Teavana’s prices are also unreasonably steep for the quality they deliver. This is an excellent shop to go to if you need a teapot. But I’ll never buy teas from them again. For a better selection, tastier blends, and affordable prices, go to Lupicia instead. Lupicia offers far superior quality for so much less money.

To see what happened on my most recent trip to Teavana, see my review of their
“Silver Yin Zhen Pearls”: http://steepster.com/Charoma/posts/81897

Lupicia Fresh Tea - Century City in Los Angeles, California
5/5
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CHAroma rated this place
5/5
and said Edit

Lupicia is amazing! These people understand and deliver high quality teas.

They have hundreds of tea selections from all around the world. They create their own special tea blends called “flavored teas.” Unlike Teavana’s blends, Lupicia creates wonderful, simplistic combinations that enhance the selected base – be it green, white, black, or rooibos. They also offer special seasonal and limited teas for peak quality and enjoyment.

Lupicia also doesn’t feel the need to add kitschy, unrealistic descriptions of “health benefits” the way Teavana does. Lupicia instead lets the tea speak for itself and gives only concise, true descriptions of their teas.

The only downside is that they have very few store locations. Since moving away from Los Angeles, I can only buy the tea online. This means I don’t get to try anything in the store before I buy it, which is a definite con. The balancing pro: you can buy a starter kit of 15 or 30 teas as a sampler at less than $1/tea. This allows you to discover both seasonal and year-round teas that you’ll want to buy in bulk.

Lupicia sells tea leaves loose and in bags, allowing versatility for people’s preferences. They also have a great arsenal of teaware and accessories at reasonable prices. Furthermore, a one-time $30 purchase gains you a free year subscription to their monthly magazine with tea samples!

The high standards, attention to detail, constant free recipes and tea samples, and affordable prices make me a customer for life!

Profile

Bio

Entering the sweet blissful world of tea aromas!

Having discovered this website at the end of July 2011, I’m so excited to share my tea adventures with all of you! I grew up with my grandmother serving Twining’s English Breakfast with cream and sugar.

But on a trip to Seattle in 2010, I stumbled into a Chinese teashop and tried my first oolong tea. I was forever changed! I embarked on a startling new love for green and white teas.

With a world of teas to discover, I was inspired to keep a tea journal to record my thoughts and new favorites. Let’s get brewing!


My ratings are completely subjective and 100% my opinion. All ratings are given in relation to each other (ie. teas are rated in the order of my enjoyment of them). Therefore, my ratings will constantly change as I try more teas.


I love swapping!!! If you see something in my cupboard you’d like to try, just send me a message. If you’d like to trade, anything on my shopping list will do or feel free to send something else entirely. I’m willing to try almost anything (although I’m not really a fan of honeybush, red rooibos, pu’erh, Lapsang Souchong, & banana-flavored teas).

Location

Maryland, USA

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