I was introduced to this little tea shop through Groupon. Apparently I cannot resist a tea-related Groupon (this is my fourth). Overall this is a very nice tea shop in a cute little area of Elmhurst. Their tea collection isn’t quite as extensive as places like Todd and Holland or TeaGschwender, but they have a nice assortment of tea. Best of all they do not commit the cardinal tea sin of sequestering all their tea behind the counter requiring an employee’s help to sniff and sniff again. They have smelling jars for all their tea and the tea is relatively well organized. I would suggest possibly using different colored labels to visually identify the type of tea.
What really sets this place apart is the customer service. Being a Groupon customer you never quite know what kind of service you’ll get as businesses seem to both love and loathe Groupon shoppers. Yes, I’m a bargain hunter, but if you win me over and I can normally afford your product, I’ll be back. Serene Teaz offered amazing customer service despite me carrying around a folded sheet of paper. Smell something you’re not sure of? They’ll brew up a sample. That other person browsing want to try something? They’ll make enough for anyone in the store to try. This is in addition to the samples they already have brewed. They’re also more than happy to give information and recommendations and they seem to know their stuff.
They even have a VIP club that rewards you for your quarterly spending. The spending threshold is a little high, but if you’re nearby and like tea, it’s probably easy to reach.
My complaints about Serene Teaz are relatively minor: the hours and the communication of those hours. With my Groupon fast approaching expiration I drove out to Elmhurst Monday after work. They had posted tea flavors of the day on Facebook so I assumed they were open. They were not, those were the flavors for their Wheaton location. Elmhurst isn’t terribly far but I did waste an hour round-trip with traffic. Not technically their fault as I should have checked their website and made sure they were open, but confusion could have been avoided by either having seperate facebook pages for each location or noting the flavors were for the Wheaton location. That said their hours are a bit restrictive to 9-5ers. If they were open both Saturday and Sunday I wouldn’t have been pushing my Groupon expiration.