This was my first actual visit to a Teavana, instead usually getting friends to send the teas across the border to Canada for me. But I was in the area, and since my town is getting one in October, I thought I should check it out.
First impressions of the store were of . . . chaos. There was not enough sales people to handle the flow of customers, and very little space near the cash in order to allow people viewing access to the wall of teas while other customers placed/received/paid for their orders. The main business of the day seemed to be for their teas to go, and I purchased one myself as I wanted something to sip as I wandered the mall. I asked for it to be only slightly sweetened, however apparently in Teavanaland this means two full spoons of their rock sugar (four times what I would’ve liked to have). Even with all that sugar, the tea was only half flavoured, making me wonder why so many people were buying single cups on their visits.
There was a lovely collection of accessories and teaware to browse in the store, as well as a collection of samples to sip and taste test. Only one of the approximately eight flavours on tap were un-sweetened and unblended. I do not understand how someone is supposed to understand what a tea tastes like when it is blended with another. I really dislike this sales tactic of theirs since it means someone needs to buy double the tea to get the same flavour at home.
The sales staff were extremely friendly and helpful, although you could tell that they were not solid in their tea knowledge. Still, the woman who helped me did pull whatever I asked to sniff off of the wall and let me examine the blends before purchase. And when I only left with a two ounce purchase, there was no drop in customer service.
Overall the people were nice but the chain lived up to its not-great reputation. I think I’ll stick to my David’s Tea when Teavana invades my local mall.