My review of my first experience with a Teavana store!:
As I walked up to the store I saw the tea samples by the door and began to brace myself for the worst of what I’ve heard about them.
I was immediately met by a very friendly middle aged woman who asked me if I wanted a sample. Yes, I know some people have experiences w/ pushy sales people so this may put some people off, but it sure is better than not being able to get the help of a sales person- and of course she only offered me a free sample. Free is good. :) I was prepared for this and quickly, almost to the point of cutting her off, replied “No thank you, I don’t like my tea sweetened.” This was a double duty answer because I don’t like sweet tea, and I wanted the sales person to be aware I knew they were sweetened so I would prevent some of the newbie horror stories. To my surprise she replied, “Oh that’s ok! We have an unsweetened one inside”. Unfortunately there was only one and it was hot, but there was indeed one and it wasn’t one of their funky blends! I’m definitely going to have to get some of their Monkey Picked Oolong in the fall. I then asked her if they had the Breville One Touch. After the sales woman showed my friend how it worked, we looked at the other teaware for a bit. I was shocked (and pleasantly surprised) that she didn’t try to sell me the Breville or any of the other teaware. After looking at the teaware (there is a copper tetsubin and some yi xings I want though!), I made my way over to the matcha and saw a former HS classmate of mine at the register. Casey and I exchanged a few words as I grabbed my matcha. The lady asked if I’d had it before and if I had the traditional set. I told her yes and gave her an estimate of my consumption. I think she was quite impressed! I then waited in line. As Casey ran my matcha thru the register, the saleswoman made my iced tea. After I checked out, there was no one else in line so Casey spoke with me for a few min- mostly about tea, but about the past 6 years since I’d seen him as well. My visit; however, did not end on a happy note… $4.99 for what appeared to be a 12-16oz glass of iced tea (not brewed to double strength to compensate for the ice I’m sure). The other tea shop in the city charges $2 for a 16oz cup- although you can only have one of the 7 samples on tap. Another weird thing about my iced tea… I ordered matcha in their Anjou Pear-adise Oolong… but it did not look or taste like there was any matcha in it. Has anyone ever had matcha there before? After getting our tea, my friend and I went to a different store and had to walk past Teavana on the way out. I stopped to sample the 2 sweet samples because, well, they were there lol. Surprisingly they were not sickeningly sweet but they were so hot that I nearly scalded my mouth! There was a different lady standing right next to the samples (a little bombardingly feeling) and she asked me if she could help me- I felt better when it was phrased, “Would you like to try a sample?”.
I’m very impressed with the reading material they give you. I especially loved the literature on the tetsubin and yi xings (something I definitely want to get into eventually). I also liked the product catalog, they have some teas that I was unware of.
So that’s my 1st experience w/ Teavana. Not perfect, but not nearly as bad as I feared!