Share your in store purchases/stories thread!
I got this http://www.davidstea.com/portal.aspx?CN=E7FD64FA83DC as well as the other three colours. I love love love them.
A few years ago, I was leaving my barber’s, and I passed by a pretty-looking little tea shop that I had never seen before. It appeared to be newly constructed. I was still extremely new to loose-leaf at the time (the only loose tea I owned then was a bag of Strawberry Fields from Teaopia that a customer had accidentally left behind at my till at work), and otherwise only had a lifetime of fond experiences with Tetley tea bags. I still basically considered myself a tea lover, and my heart went pitter-pat when I saw this little shop, so I immediately stopped and went in.
There were two employees there: a young blonde girl (maybe in her early twenties) with her hair in a ponytail who was bustling about, and a good-looking youngish guy (maybe early thirties) who enthusiastically greeted me when I crossed the entrance. I believe I said something really dopey like, “I saw the word ‘tea,’ and I had to come in!”
He practically glowed. “A TEA LOVER!”
“Yep! Definitely love tea.”
“We’ve got lots of tea I can show you! What type of tea do you like?”
…Oof. Type of tea? There’s more than one type? What, like chai vs. orange pekoe? I knew the bag I had from Teaopia said “flavoured white tea,” on it, but I didn’t actually have a clue what that meant. I realized I had (unintentionally!) misrepresented myself – he obviously considered the question he’d asked a basic one, and I had no idea how to answer it. With some embarrassment, I explained that while I had grown up drinking tea bags, and always considered myself to love the stuff, I had only learned what “loose” tea was a few weeks prior, and that I didn’t know what the stuff I had was. I really didn’t know what “type” I liked.
He assured me that was fine, that he would start pulling wall tins, and we would DISCOVER what I liked. Which he did – he had pulled nearly every tin on the wall down by the time I left, and the counter was covered in them. I would smell, we would discuss my impressions, and by the time I lifting my head from sniffing, he would already be bouncing off for another tin he thought I might like.
He also popped from behind the counter at one point to discuss teaware with me – I most likely told him I was awkwardly using a kitchen strainer at home because I didn’t have an infuser, but I don’t remember. It was at that point, standing in the middle of the store, that we made more personal introductions. We started talking about life in general. I mentioned that the store seemed new, and he agreed that it was their opening week. “I’m the owner.”
Wow! Good luck, I told him, I really hope the store succeeds. And it must be so amazing to own a store so young – I really admired that, to really be doing something with your life at that age, and to not be a mess-up still in school like me. He asked me what I did, and I told him what I was doing in school. Wow! he said, now those courses are tough, and he admired me, and told me I had nothing to be ashamed of. After that, we then learned something quite personal about each other, and I won’t violate his privacy by sharing – what you tell someone you have an immediate personal connection with is not necessarily what you would tell a forum of strangers. But we have had similar personal struggles in our lives. We discussed how important it is to not give up when life shits on you. We discussed Life and Stuff alone for at least an hour, aside from showing me tea. A few people came in while we talked, but the blonde woman handled them all.
I eventually decided on two teas he told me were among his absolute favourites, and got them in tins. I felt a little embarrassed he had gone to so much work, and I could only afford two, but he assured me that it was his pleasure to talk to me. He wouldn’t be in town anymore after the store’s opening, he said, so he probably wouldn’t see me again. But he hoped I liked the tea, that I would come to discover what a big world tea is, that I would drink tea all my life, and that he really wished me success in life as well. Don’t give up, he said.
I left with my tea, absolutely happy, and vowing to continuously be back to that little tea shop whether I even liked the tea or not – I really wanted that nice David guy’s store to succeed.
Of course, I had no idea yet that DAVIDsTEA probably didn’t need my help! I have still always been back, though.
(The two teas he got me? Pumpkin Chai and Rooibos de Provence. Still staples to me.)
this is fabulous. I love everything about it, the personal connection, David’s excitement over showing you the teas, and the testimony to how nice he was considering his teas are so loved!! Thanks for sharing this story, I really really love it and it makes me smile!
I LOVE this! Thank you for sharing! I was just in David’s and the staff was so thrilled to work there and happy to be sharing tea.
What a fantastic story! It’s amazing how you can really connect with someone over something as simple as tea, and end up having deep and profound experiences over a shared drink.
Technically not MY in store purchase, but they are for me.
16g of the following
Quanghzhou Milk Oolong
Banana Dream Pie
Kiwi’s Big Adventure
I got a small collection of teas over the weekend and even somre more coming in from yssah – Love is Tea (LIT)
But, from the stores, I got a hazelnut, apricot, and oolong tea from Coffee Tree & Tea Leaves Co. I got a yunnan pu-erh, ti kuan yin oolong, acai white, blood orange, and strawberry and roses tea from The Coffee and Tea Exchange, and then I discovered there was a number of stores just down the street from where I’m staying and picked up a Temple of Heaven Special Gunpowder Green Tea, Sunflower Jasmine Tea (I think sunflower is the company), and Choicest Tea Golden Dragon LIchee Black Tea.
I went a little tea shopping crazy. I’m cutting myself off for a while after this trip. I went to Lupica, David’s, Teavana, some macaroon place that had Mariage Freres teas, Red Blossom, Aroma, Bird Pick, Samovar, Vital Tea Leaf and some place in Japantown. Didn’t buy tea from all of those places, but I got to check them out. I still want to stop into Zhena’s Gypsy and Teance.
I went to China Town yesterday and found Gaiwan from $3-5 dollars, I got two new glass gaiwans around 150ml, 1 thicker and one thinner walled and one thicker ceramic one. I also bought a handmade cast iron 0.8L teapot at a good price, As well as bilochun, and honeysuckle teas.
This was in the Toronto China Town. There are quite a few places in China Town that carry Gaiwans of various qualities and a few places that have Yixing. Most of the places carry small cheap porclain ones around 50-70ml and a few have ones in that corel type material ( cylex). I got the glass Gaiwans at two places. One is a herbalist on the South side of Dundas. East of Spadina. It’s one of the last herbalist shops as you move away from spadina, is on street level and carries things for traditional Chinese medicine , acupuncture, and massage as well. They carry a lot of Teaware, including Gongfu sets some Yixing sets and teacups. Some of it is quite nice. I got the other one across the street and about half a block down at a housewares shop almost across from the Lucky Moose grocery store. They also have clay canisters and porcelain tea sets with tea trays. I got the thicker walled one there. Ten Ren is also in that block and carries some larger Gaiwans starting at around $16.00 ( not everything is on display, you have to ask). The larger ceramic one I bought at that large store on the West side of Spadina north of Dundas that cells mostly kitchen wares ( this is a place where a lot of restaurants buy plates etc.), They had three versions. they also had a very fancy porcelain one that looks like it was meant for weddings. They carry cheap pumpkin shaped yixing style pots for $15.00 that are probably around 170ml and they have Tsebutsin ( I got mine here and it’s held up well, sometimes they have cups for the sets for around $1)for good prices. There is also a store about a block up from there at the one of the main entrances to Kensington Markets that sells a lot of Bamboo that has nice Tsebutsin. China Arts City on the east side of Spadina south of Dundas (the store that sells bonsai) has some nice yixing pots.
Zen Gardens Restaurant also has Tea ware but in the 30$ and up range. Sorry I can’t remember names at the moment. But basically most of the tea ware was available at either herbalists ( who often have tea of various amounts and quality) and house ware shops.
Thank you for your detailed response! I’ll have to check them out sometime.
Well this thread doesn’t get much use, but I dug it up because today I bought tea at Fauchon and Dammann Frères in Paris. I was pleased to find out that Fauchon has their standard teas for sale in bulk in their Madeline store (cheaper than the tin, of course), although three of the teas I got were special editions and only available in tins.
At Dammann I was very restrained and only got 4 teas (100g each minimum), which is far less than was on my list. But after a week and a half in Europe my bank account is feeling rather light, so I couldn’t bring myself to buy more when they ship for free to the US over a certain amount online.
I bought 500g of a Twice-pan roasted Sencha for antioxidant (and drinking of course) research at a shop called “The Spice Corner” in Philadelphia’s Italian Market on a rainy Saturday.
I must say, tea and spice shops are fantastic places to be on gloomy days!
I went to Teavana (which in the mall I went to is near Abercrombie wtf nothing like getting blasted in the face by disgusting cologne before going to a tea store) to get some Fig Rose and the Global Adventures box.
I think I love the box more than anything else right now hahaha IT’S SO COOL.
Went to Teavana’s Last week:
Mango Mate Puerh Punch
Watermelon Mint Chiller
Cranberry Singapore Sling
Spiced Mandarin Oolong
The 1st 3 are replacements of ones I’ve had before.
I thought about getting the Global Treasures set, but the only 1 in there I want to try is the Golden Mojito, so nixed that idea. If I go back there this week, (Really tempted to take advantage of the sale.) I might get the Iced Tea set if they have anymore. Plus get some German Rock Sugar. But….I really should stay away from teas stores for a while. I havn’t set myself a goal of a hiatus til Black Friday, (Though was tempted.) But goals with dates attached tend not to work with me.