The Tea Haus opened in October of 2000, in the Covent Market, downtown London, Ontario, Canada. They started the company as a labour of love, and to help them keep their own tea supplies fresh and plentiful (as any true lover dreams of doing!) They have over 200 varieties now, ranging from the traditional blacks to herbals and blooming, and everything in between. All of their teas are able to be seen in the store if you’re lucky enough to go, and they are more than willing to allow you to smell them at your request. They use German suppliers, and all teas are loose-leaf only, however bags are for sale to create your own, as are infusers etc. In-store cups and pots of tea of any tea on the wall are available for an affordable price. (It was 1.25 a few years ago but I’m not sure now!)
Each cannister of tea (glass for all but the greens and whites, which are kept in tin) is sealed tightly, and is clearly labelled in colour coded stickers which give a quick summary of the tea as well as a list of the ingredients.
There is no rewards program, however those who return their bags in-store are offered a discount for recycling the bags. Online orders always come with a sample, which after more than one order is reflective of your buying history. Subscribers to their tea newsletter are offered promotions between 6-10 times a year. Occasionally they will also donate proceeds from certain teas towards charitable concerns, for example Japan when they suffered their earthquakes.
In addition to the tea itself, the store is an excellent source for quality tea accessories, including but not limited to pots, cups, thermoses, and matcha materials.
Teas are sold online and in person in set amounts, with most teas starting at 50g. (Many whites and greens start at 25g due to their weights or costs.) There is no discount for mass purchasing, however shipping is free for online orders in Canada after 49.00 and to the USA after 75.00.
The costs of their teas is amazing, coming in usually about half the rates of most retailers (eg. David’s Tea, Teavana, Teaopia). Orders are shipped promptly, and are packaged nicely and safely. All teas I’ve ever ordered have been fresh, quality, and identical to their descriptions.
They revamped their website this year, and it has made a big difference. It is easy to use and simple to figure out. There is an excellent search engine, and the options are identical to stock available, so you won’t order and then have it redacted from your order as many have had happen from Teavana. I once noticed my favourite staple tea from them wasn’t online anymore so I called them, not realizing yet they weren’t open. The owner answered the phone anyway, despite it being really early in the morning, and was amazingly nice and assured me it had been pulled due to no stock, and that they’d gotten a shipment overnight and to look again that night to see if it was back online. Less than half an hour later the tea was back online. Again another time I noticed that a description of a tea was wrong, and one phone call and fifteen minutes later they had fixed the site.
Each tea has a lovely colour picture on the site, showing a closeup of the dry tea. The only negative I have of the new site is the review process seems to not allow logging in unless you’re placing an order . . . although I prefer Steepster for my reviews anyway so it wasn’t a huge heartache.
Every order is followed upon completion with an email receipt, listing all items ordered. Shipping is almost always next day and rates are on par with what they are charged at the post office. A friend once ordered and was given a small refund on her order due to an over-estimate on shipping costs.
Visa, Mastercard, and American Express are accepted. Currently no options for Discover, Paypal, or other online methods.
This was my first tea store, and is still my favourite independent store. The service remains amazing, as are the quality and the variety. I have yet to find any teas that come close to their Lime Fizz, Milk Oolong, Pear Cream, and Apple Pie Black. If doing a first time order, I recommend all four! Also their Lemon Grove makes the best iced tea EVER!