Teavana -- If you don't want to buy something, too bad.
Good for you Nick. I must say, as a Teavana employee, I hope to be in your more peaceful position some day :)
Do you still believe that cast iron is the best way to brew tea? For me, it’s more a matter of perspective. Teavana only told us the perks of cast iron, not the downfalls…
Nahh, I mean, in a formal serving environment maybe haha but to me the best would be the breville one touch( which I own). You honestly get the connivence of the tea being brewed at precise directions and easy experimentation but also the ability to use it at a simple water heater if you wanted to brew your tea in anything else.
Alex, in your opinion what are the downfalls? I no longer believe its the best. Sure heat retention is great when you are brewing a big pot of oolong/black/pu-erh or herbal that you intend to sip on for the evening. But I am now more likely to brew semi-gonfu style with a two mugs and savor through out the day.
I think all teaware will season with minerals from the tea its just a matter of if you let it (not washing after use)my glass and bone china cups are constantly getting a patina but it doesn’t look very attractive so I wipe it off with a paper towel after washing (its the only thing I’ve found that fully removes it for me). I don’t care what the inside of my cast-iron pot looks like, but my three cast iron cups look pretty awful and I only use them for offerings anymore.
And sure it is durable but parts of it can and do rust, near the handles, anywhere were enamel comes of (it will chip off in small amounts if dropped) and definitely the unpainted trivets oh my goodness!
I like my copper dragon pot as a piece of art and will occasionally use my purple cherry bark one for company since it has such a large basket, but mostly it comes down to art for me. I bought 5 pots for relatives back when I was convinced and only a few of them really use them.
Hi Autumn. You already mentioned many of the downfalls that I have in mind. Also, you have to use a ridiculous amount of tea leaves to make a pot, especially for the larger pots, so it is a continuous expense.
I work at a job which is quite similar to Teavana in terms of the sales focus, so I am relatively used to that. I have grown really sick of it though; so despite everything I have heard about Teavana (lots and lots and lots of bad rep), I decided to apply when positions opened up there, and found out last night that I got it. (I am still keeping my other job in case it becomes necessary to bail.)
I have noted with worry that the employees working there seem stressed and unhappy since the changeover (I’m Canadian, it used to be a Teaopia), which really doesn’t look good. Plus, I tried to apply before and they were never hiring – now they suddenly have 6 open positions, apparently? If anything, the manager was TOO excited about my application, and didn’t hide her intention to hire me unless I was ridiculously awful in interview. So I am concerned. Still, I have been in many times since the changeover and have never been up-sold a pricey tea, never been shown the cast iron and they have never been pushy. It may be that because we work in a big, busy mall that smaller purchases are easier to absorb, so they are less pushy and the environment is more relaxed for a Teavana (if stressful compared to Teaopia). I will see.
I should add though, that I WAS over-poured by a lot the first time I was in, which quite upset me because I don’t have much money right now. It has not happened since though, and I have been careful to watch for it too. I will be watching that from the other side in particular.
Good luck Daniel! As for the over pouring, my customers always noted how good I was at getting it to exactly 2 oz (you get a feel for it with the sample teas) but I always indicated the price and said “this is a dollar and 30 cents over is that okay?” I had a girl that I worked with, love her to death and she actually left because of dislike for Teavana but to watch her pour, she would always be super heavy handed and just “tapped” a tiny bit back out before putting it back on the scale and said is that okay? She would repeat this action for as many times as possible, usually never reaching 2oz before the customer yielded. That drove me crazy, no one trained her to do that, but it “worked” for her sales wise. She did have more shocked customers at the check out and then put on a kind of pouty face when explaining how it came to that total and what they were paying for, sigh.
Here in San Francisco, the Lupicia shop is not only in the same mall as Teavana, but it’s on the same floor, just a few doors away! I wouldn’t count on Teavana lasting, because Lupicia’s shop is just SO much more inviting and better laid-out with all the different teas easily available for you to smell and look at before making your choice. The Teavana shop is really tiny and cramped as well. Felt claustrophobia just stepping in for a moment.
Jules, that’s great to hear about Lupicia. I have a feeling Teavana wouldn’t do as well in a city like SanFran anyway, they do better in suburban malls where there is no pre-existing tea culture, no Chinatown or another loose leaf tea vendor. Easier to educate and convert folks to their yea and methods and convince them they are buying the best. The thing I liked best about visiting Adagio and TeaGschwender in Chicago was the smelling jars, it’s much more welcoming and leisurely and the teas aren’t held hostage behind the counter (actually TeaGschwender was a mix, all the teas I wanted were behind the counter, but I was interested in Formosas so).
Thank you for telling me about Lipicia as soon as i get some more tea fund im going to order from there!!!
This is such a rediculous discussion. It’s a sales job. of course they are going to try to sell to you. how is that surprising? The reason the tea is sweet is because its sweetened with german rock sugar, which is unrefined, so it’s better for you than regular sugar. so the statement that it’s not good for you is 100% false. its only 25 calories per teaspoon, and a lot of people don’t even use that much for one cup. If you guys would actually listen to what the sales people are saying about the tea, and the teapots, you would realize that it actually is really good for you. You don’t need to be experienced in tea to get the customer service that you would typically like to have. Don’t blame the whole company on a couple of bad stores. There are some stores that actually care about the customers, try to identify your needs and wants, and cater to them as best as possible. This discussion is basically making generalizations about the whole company which is a very closed minded thing to do.
O hai Teavana employee…
No, actually, I’m just a Teavana customer. But I go there frequently.
I think most people’s problem on the sugar issue is that it’s sweetened at all by default. Lots of people don’t actually like having their tea sweetened. And sugar, any sugar, is still worse for you than no sugar at all. And THAT is a fact.
Adding sugar to anything is never good for you ever, no matter what type of sugar we are talking about.
Problem here is that most people like sugar in their tea. Teavana IS playing to the crowd here.
I’m very picky about the teas I drink clear. I personally won’t drink a store sample that I know ISN’T sweetened.
Uh, Grace… regular sugar only has 16 calories a teaspoon.
You’re right that rock sugar has less calories per teaspoon than refined, granulated sugar. But that actually has nothing to do with nutritional content, and everything to do with shape. Teaspoons are a measure of volume, and the awkward shape of the rocks in the rock sugar means that within a ‘teaspoon’ of rock sugar, you have a bunch of air.
If you were to say grind your rock sugar in a mortar and pestle, so that you had 1 teaspoon of ground rock sugar or granulated regular sugar, you’d have approximately the exact same caloric content.
Rock sugar is not better for you. It’s just sugar. Which is fine, if you like sugar, there’s really nothing wrong with that.
Not sure if you’re aware of this, Grace, but we’re in a free country and we have the freedom of expression. So while you might think this is a “rediculous” discussion, this is one of the most popular discussions here. We teaists have every right to talk about what stores get our business – and which don’t.
It’s nice you go there. I shop there online because I can’t stand pushy salespeople – and I buy almost everything sales-driven online. But I’ve been drinking loose tea for years so I don’t need some salesperson who can’t read my “I’m not interested in your Teavana groupthink propaganda” expression taking at me like I’m a five-year-old.
And to reiterate @Dylan Oxford – rock sugar is still sugar. It’s not necessarily better for you. Even if it was Organic or blessed by the Pope, it’s still sugar.
I agree about the sales part of your post. I’ve said something similar in another Teavana thread. However, I can’t get behind the sugar argument. It’s NOT good for you, and I don’t agree with a company selling it as being good for you. The same thing goes for their teapots. I am sorry, but my tea is just as correctly brewed in something other than one of their cast iron teapots as it would be in it. I don’t like that they say that the only way to brew tea is in one of those pots, because it simply isn’t true. I get that every company is trying to meet sales goals, and will give you their spin on their product to meet those goals. I don’t like it when a company outright lies, however. If they could work on the image that they are currently portraying and make it more about just the tea, I’d love that, because I do think that they have some decent teas. (I drink the unsweetened ones.)
One of the sales people refused to sell me black dragon pearls because their golden monkey was “better” and what i really wanted. Then he said they’re the exact same tea, but the black dragon pearls have a richer flavor… I walked out. They also weren’t willing to recommend to me any other green tea than the Gyokuro Imperial even though I said I didn’t like that one…
Although I have gone in before and had wonderful salespeople. I’ve even had people who don’t push the pricier teas and recommend the affordable ones. One of my favorite teavana employees remembers me and all the things I’ve ordered, she even stopped mentioning health related stuff because I told her I was drinking it for fun. I was shocked when she told me to get a perfect tea maker over the cast iron since the cast iron does have enough room in the infusing basket for most teas (I did buy a cast iron from her later because I really wanted one… but she did try to talk me out of it until I told her it was all part of the fun)
But the people in the teavana close to where I live now are jerks. They keep pushing health benefits even though I tell them I don’t care. They also only recommend the expensive teas even if I tell them I already have a pound or don’t like it. The next time I go, if they tell me about teas that will help me lose weight, I’m going to ask them to show me a tea that will help me gain weight, or show me their most unhealthy tea…
I do like teavana’s teas, and I enjoy it when it is an intimate experience buying and choosing teas, but I hate it when they aren’t willing to listen to me and act like I know nothing…
Man, sounds like someone at that first store you describe was up their employees asses about selling the “indicator” teas. (Silver Yin Zhen, Gyokuro Imperial, Monkey Picked, Golden Monkey.) They are supposed to try to persuade you to buy/try those ones; key word being “try.”
I thought I had one of our hilarious new Nutritional Guides in my bag, but I guess not. (“Hilarious” because they’re basically just booklets of charts full of zeros. An “Ingredients List” would make significantly more sense. Pretty much every customer who catches an eyeful of these “Nutritional Guides” cracks up laughing.) I’m next-to-positive that there’s at least ONE tea in there with listed carbs and calories…uh…matcha maybe? I guess that doesn’t have much rep for being “unhealthy” though.
Thank you rantHappy, I refained from replying to grace123, but what you have described is the rule and the exception to it. I wish it was just “one or two horror stories” as Grace puts it but it really is a cultural attitude that has been created from corporate pressure, the sales process and training.
Yes there are those employees and possibly even stores and regions that are more laid back because of their personal compassion, ability to think for themselves or lack of pressure (probably some older stores and Canada, heh my old store is getting a new manager who was sent up to Canada and hated it there). I was praised for my ability to read people and respond appropriately. I’m glad some of you have come across these gems and have built relationships with them whether they are a newer employee that is naturally shy and courteous or an seasoned employee that has gotten beyond all the pressure.
However I have seen too many sales people trying to climb the corporate ladder who get cocky in their interactions with customers, as well as new employees trying to follow the sales process that lack finesse and come across as a jerk (my first day I pushed a tin too hard and a woman walked out).
But when you have a regional manager who takes over an employees sale to push Gyokuro when the customer clearly says he is looking for a green tea that is not vegetal or a manager that only drinks Golden Monkey because she will only sell Golden Monkey because everyone gets a pat on the back at the end of the week for selling these tea, when there are just as high quality, equally priced teas right next them that may better suit a customer’s tastes, that’s a shame.
Just take a look at the reviews on Black Dragon Pearls vs Golden Monkey and you will see what people actually prefer. And when a company discourages it’s employees to sell you some of their own teas me thinks that’s a problem.
Now I’m curious Autumn, what did the new manager at your old store hate about Canada?
Don’t know, he actually hasn’t arrived yet and I may never personally meet him, but I may hear second hand. I only plan to set foot in the store to try some of the new teas next week and to see what’s available at the Heavenly Sale in January.
OMG!!! The sales people at Teavana are so annoying!! Because of that I won’t go into another Teavana. I went to Teavana when I first got into tea. I told the girl that this would be my first tea purchase and I did not know much about the different types of teas, etc. Well, she started wafting all these different types of teas in my face and never explained the different types of teas and their benefits. I thought that would be the first thing you’d do to someone that is new to the tea drinking scene, but what do I know. Then she tried to sell me the most expensive oolong tea, which was $25 for the smallest amount you could purchase. She would not take no for an answer. Now I LOVE DavidsTea. They ask you if you need help and if you tell them no they leave you alone. When they do help you, they’re not forcing the most expensive tea down your throat. My friend and I went there and told the girl that she needed caffeine free. The girl helped us a great deal with finding good caffeine free teas. I would shop over and over again at DavidsTea because they are so helpful without being annoying! Teavana…probably never again!
Teavana have some lovely blends, though. I also don’t like being accosted by salespeople, so I buy from their web site. No reason I should be deprived of yummy tea just because they train their people to be irritating.
@Nik – I’m with you. The only Teavana near me is in a snooty area anyway (Bethesda – they think highly of themselves) so naturally with that ingrained attitude and the Teavana teamthink it’s a nightmare. I do love their chai blend, though, and it’s cheapest to get it from Teavana (I’ve done the research, I know this for a fact). So I order online and never have to deal with annoying salespeople.
I wanted to post here since I am a current Teavana employee.
I work in a Canadian store that used to be Teaopia…I really liked Teaopia, there was no sales tactic except to just sell people tea and give them what they wanted. All employees got 2% of their sales each quarter. That actually added up to quite bit. People loved the store and loved the teas (Teaopia teas were also a lot more pure and less fruity).
Switching to Teavana a few months ago was a nightmare. The trainer was HORRIBLE. I’d say blame any issues you have on the trainer and not the staff, since they are bullied into being that annoying. YES, BULLIED. More than half of the staff broke down crying and had to leave the store for awhile. That is completely wrong. The trainer would hover over our shoulders and bark at us for not upselling, etc. How rude…I’m sure a customer doesn’t appreciate that. In fact, a customer YELLED at the trainer and STORMED OUT of the store on the first day. What the f$@#$ is that?!!?
During training we would all be disgusted at how much sugar was in the sample (between 1/8cup to a 1/2cup per 32oz of water…yuck) and the trainer took it so personally and got defensive. Absolutely bizarre. Apparently the sugar has made Teavana’s sales go up 30%, but she said that about absolutely everything so I think it was mostly BS. They have done “extensive research”, but so far almost no one has been buying the sugar and in fact, I have had a hard time selling the sample teas because the customers are scared that, even though I tell them otherwise, the teas will be sweetened against their wishes.
Teavana tries to justify the horrendous pushy salesperson behavior by telling their employees that they’ll make a good bonus (“Up to 1000$ a month!” MY ASS), but they fail to tell you that you’ll only get the bonus if you make a certain grade point in your hourly sales. Anything lower than an A- means no bonus. You will not know this as an employee unless you expressly ask, which is extremely misleading. Teavana also pays like crap and evades giving raises when they’re supposed to.
An absolute rubbish company to work for, I would not recommend it to anyone. So many of our regulars have stopped coming in and almost the entire staff wants to quit.
Beware that they will try to talk so much while scooping tea that you won’t notice how full the tin is, in hopes that you’ll be too embarrassed to empty it more. Just a tip.
Also, for the other brown-nosing employees in here — save it. I think the company treats their employees like dirt and you can’t tell me otherwise.
WOW. I’m really sorry about your trainer. I wasn’t working at my store when we flipped, but I heard from other people that the trainer we got was very sweet and encouraging and made everyone feel excited about the day of the re-opening. It’s too bad that not all the trainers are like that. It sucks that some people managed to get into these positions they clearly don’t deserve. I’d say that hopefully someone will complain and they’ll be replaced, but that kind of thing can take a pathetically long time.
(The last job I had was at a soap-and-lotion chain, and we ended up at one point with the manager from hell who was incredibly pushy about sales and screamed at customers. At one point she actually THREW A BOTTLE OF LOTION at one of my coworkers. It took MONTHS of HR coming in and out before someone higher up finally clued in that they needed to replace her.)
I’m not sure if the sugar thing is actually B.S. My current manager says that the last store she worked at ran out of sugar once, and their sales tanked.
I’m not fussed, I just quit anyway. Just want people to know what they’re getting into. Especially young employees who think that this treatment is acceptable. It’s not. Teavana is one of the worst companies I have ever heard of let alone worked for. It makes me sad that they make so much money, because I think if a lot of people knew how they treated their employees they would never go back again.
I’ve never worked for Teavana, but used to shop there frequently. The store at my local mall seemed okay when I was last there a year or so ago; but on a recent visit (1) you are absolutely correct about the over-weighing-with-flimsy/laughable-excuse tactic, and (2) I’ve eaten candy that had less sugar than what was in their tea samples. Congratulations on leaving, marissab, and best of luck in finding a better job with better pay that will let you keep your smile and your self-respect.
Yea – working for Teavana has pretty much been the worst employment experience of my life. When we were Teaopia everyone got the hours they needed; it was asked in our interview how many we needed, and it was never an issue to get what we were promised. Once it switched over to Teavana and hours were now dependent on how much merch and tea you sell, everyone went from getting 30-40 hours/week, to struggling to get more than 15 hours. Several people had no choice but to find other jobs to make ends meet, and I’m just about there myself, even though I’m the 2nd best sales person on staff, yet getting even 20 hours/week is difficult.
We were all extremely angry and frustrated to hear that despite all of us being desperate for more hours, they were still going to hire a seasonal staff. So on top of not getting enough hours to pay our rent, we’re now going to be competing against a whole bunch more people for sales, when as it is, there’s usually too many people on staff at any given moment to give anyone much of a chance to really rack up sales. The only time I do decently(as far as the numbers corporate expects from us)is when I have the opening shift which they keep to a skeleton crew and I can do all the jobs – salesfloor, tea wall, and barista. When someone asked if we were going to be getting less hours now that seasonal staff were coming in the answer was “only if they sell more than you”.
The whole sales=hours is an extremely transparent policy that just keeps them from paying benefits to as many people as possible, since you can get benefits at 20hrs/week. But if you have policies that make it really difficult to get more than 20hr/week…well, it sure saves your company a bunch of money in the long run.
Our poor manager always has corporate breathing down her neck, trying to get her to lean on us more. She knows her whole staff is now struggling to make ends meet due to the insanely low hours that the algorhythm allows her to give to us. The animosity that is now between the entire staff is really sad – everyone is defeated, and constantly checking their sales numbers in the computers (like literally whenever there is a lull in the store, everyone is checking the daily numbers), snapping at other staff members if they feel a sale was poached or seriously resenting if another staff member happens to have a big sale. The most common things to hear employees saying is “oh man, if I could just beat ________’s sales today, maybe I could get a couple extra hours next week”, or even “did you hear ______ coughing – maybe they’ll get sick and I can pick up a shift”.
The company talks about “bonuses”, but it’s next to impossible to get one because the sales goals are so high. The sick part is seeing how they continually shift goals to make it as hard as possible for anyone to bonus. We were all looking forward to the Christmas season, since we knew sales would increase, and we might stand a chance of bonusing, or at least getting bigger sales numbers so we could get some extra hours the next week. But during holiday season your sales goals go up each and every week until it’s just an insane number you’re expected to reach.
Corporate also like to play stores against each other, basically fabricating a rival store that is held against yours, so you hear our managers being told stuff like"your store should be matching or exceeding StoreX’s – what’s going on that you’re not?", and then the managers are obsessively checking that rival store’s numbers throughout the day and stressing about never being able to live up to them.
The saddest part about it all is – for the most part I really like all the people I work with. I like the staff, I like the managers. I even really like many of the teas, and being a tea-enthusiast is one the reasons I sought out the job in the first place. I like getting other people excited about tea, and showing them the teas that I think they would like, and sharing the teas that I enjoy. The thing that makes the job unbearable is the sales=hours part. It has ruined the team spirit, made everyone miserable and desperate, and made being on shift extremely stressful. All the up-selling and pressure sales haven’t really changed the amount of stuff we sell, it just makes us feel awkward and pushy (trust me – we hate doing that), and resentful of the job.
Teavana was just bought by Starbucks, so I’m praying that they’ll start treating us better. I know Starbucks doesn’t make their employees fight for hours, and leave them hanging unable to pay their bills. But hearing that the CEO is staying on, and being “assured” that no policy and operations policies changes will be forthcoming as result of the merger has been extremely disheartening.
I am just waiting for the holiday season to be over to resume my search for a new job. Right now everyone is just hiring seasonal, and I can’t justify quitting this job for a position that will only last 6-8 weeks. But I need the financial security that I had back when we were Teaopia – knowing I can get the hours I need. It’s really really unfortunate how this company works.
It’s so disheartening to hear how the switch from Teaopia to Teavana is affecting the employees. That sounds like an absolutely unbearable work environment and I can’t imagine how stressful it must be. I hope they figure out that they’ve got to treat their employees like people if they want them to stick around.
My daughter came over this evening, and she told me of her recent visit to Teavana. Now, my daughter is not a big tea fanatic like I am, she usually just drinks the occasional peppermint tisane (bagged tea, no less), but, I guess a co-worker gifted her with some sort of glass tea infuser and blooming teas (which were also, incidentally, from Teavana), so she’s becoming a little more interested in tea.
Anyway, she went into the local Teavana recently, and she just wanted a cup of blueberry tea. While waiting for it to brew, she tells me, the sales person kept PUSHING AND PUSHING to sell her something she didn’t want or need. Finally, to get the salesperson to cool their engines, she finally relented and asked for two ounces of the blueberry tea she was ordering … and when they measured it out, they measured out 3.5 ounces and then said to my daughter “oh, it’s almost 2 ounces, is that OK?” My daughter told them NO that she wanted just 2 ounces. Then they tried to hard sell her on a tin by opening the pitch with “do you know the best way to store tea?” Her answer was “a tin” and then they go to get her a tin and she said she didn’t need one. “oh, do you have tins at home?” She said she didn’t but didn’t need one, then they kind of flippantly replied “ok, well, this tea will last about a week in this paper bag.”
She told me that she never felt so PUSHED to buy something ever.
So, people wonder why we hate on Teavana. THIS is why. This kind of approach. I don’t care if it doesn’t happen in every Teavana or with every shopper’s experience, the fact that it does happen and that the Teavana employees (or I guess, the Starbucks employees now) prey like this on even the occasional customer sickens me.
I think the really unfortunate thing is that if they didn’t have that attitude, I would totally go into their stores—especially if they sold in smaller quantities, like 1 or even 1/2 and ounce. They have teas I like, but I always wait for online sales because their workers frighten me ^^; I have bad social anxiety, so a tense atmosphere like that is NOT where I want to shop.
I totally get that, I am agoraphobic, so I know all too well the problems with social anxiety.
On the one hand, I appreciate the fact that Teavana (will they be changing the name to starbucks?) is sort of introducing some people to tea that might not have otherwise realized that there is more to tea than the grocery store tea bag. I’m not crazy about most of their tea, but, I’ve liked some of it alright, and it certainly IS better than the grocery store stuff.
Fortunately, when I go in to Teavana they don’t attempt to hard sell me, because I pretty much shut them down right away by telling them that I have more tea at home than they do in the entire store (this is actually probably true) and that there’s probably nothing they could tell me about tea that I didn’t already know. And fortunately, my daughter has some of that knowledge as well, because, well, she’s been around me and I talk a lot about tea. LOL
But, I don’t like that they just pressed her and pressed her to buy more than just that cup of tea.
I told her that the next time she needs tea to come see me, I have a bit I can spare for her. LOL
>>> I have more tea at home
Change tea to teas and it IS true :) even for me.
Unfortunately that is what they are trained to do and say. So if doesn’t happen all the time it’s because the sales person is lax, has built up a relationship with a guest or is really good at reading people/has a concience/knows its bull, but they still should be asking each and everytime, multiple times as per Teavana training (and yes they are still Teavana, they are not Starbucks employees yet and I’m pretty sure they won’t be changing the name, the CEO and founder is staying on as a brand director as are probably many of the people under them, Teavana as you know it won’t disappear it will just branch out into corner beverage shops and supermarkets and at least there will be less pressure there). Now there are more sauve sales people that may not make it feel as pushy and ideally they would all be this way, but Teavana tells them to push and they can’t control a sales person’s temperament at any given moment (though corporate certainly makes it stressful for them, and a pressured employee+a pressure based sales process=attitude. But the problem, the main problem with Teavana as I see it, is they take a very psychological approach to selling tea, they have all these “proven” tricks, like the five times no rule, mirror questions “this tea smells amazing doesn’t it?” to get you to agree, leading with you eyes, getting you involved in building a cast-iron set, handing you a cup then taking it away (getting you to want it back). It’s all so manipulative and has no place in the tea world. And I at least hope some of that changes under Starbucks. And if anyone at Teavana is reading this, I hope you are taking it to heart.
I’d like to add that it seems the more knowledge I have going into teavana, the less pushy they are. If I demonstrate a knowledge of tea and know what products I want before I go into the store, they are not so bad – at least in my experience. Their best sales come from the people who don’t know ANYTHING about tea.
This is a great conversation, as I (we) get to see Teavana from different perspectives. It’s like, BOTH/AND, as in, there are BOTH things I honestly like about Teavana AND some things I don’t like. I decided to start another thread with my own recent experience(s), as the name of this particular discussion thread has what I judge to be a negative slant to it, and I believe words are incredibly powerful—if sometimes subtly—and often set the tone for future conversations.
: – )
My first experience was in their Chicago location. That was actually a pleasant experience. I walked in, no one jumped in front of me trying to force feed me a sample of their fruity sugar water and I freely admired the teapots and cups until I curiously drifted over to the counter. The guy at the counter (with this really nifty bowtie) didn’t push a single tea on me and just let me read the names and prices on the big tins on the wall for a good amount of time. He didn’t rush me or the friend I was with at all.
While he did pull out Gyokuro Imperial on my friend first it was only because she asked for that certain type. I was interested in Scarlet Cloud and asked to see that one. On that day though, I was a bit wary on buying because I’d never done much with loose tea before so I explained to him that I was on a trip and didn’t really want to explain to the TSA what was in my metal tin…
So nifty bowtie dude totally obliged me and said, “Well there is a Teavana in your area so when you get back home you can buy it there.”
So I thanked him for the info and my friend and I left.
A few weeks later I go to the Teavana in my area. Jeez what a difference! You’ve got to have a break and enter plan to get in there without someone trying to sell you something you already have or don’t need. There is no such thing as browsing in that store.
After I got the leeches at the door off of me though they were okay at first… I got my Scarlet Cloud and some Mate as well.
However, they did open up one of their tins of Gyokuro Imperial on me. I told the mildly high strung counter lady that I’d try it another day and after a little bit of a struggle I finally got it through her head that it wasn’t happening today.
I also had to lie to her about having tins just so she’d shut up about getting me to buy some.
All in all going to a Teavana armed with knowing exactly what you want and some knowledge is ideal, but I thank the heavens that my first Teavana experience was with a guy that seemed to actually care about the customer and not just meeting his sales quota. I know that type of experience in a Teavana is pretty rare and I feel really lucky.