Really, this is the ideal place to go in Chicago to purchase fine teas. Great knowledgeable service, great selection and a perfect place to grab anything you need for your home tea services.
I’ve been to one of the physical stores in Chicago. Nice staff, nice selection of teas, and it’s nice not having to pay shipping! They also discount their seasonal teas (ie, fall teas are discounted in winter, winter teas are discounted at the end of winter/start of spring) so you can pick up some things cheap to try in that manner.
Only downside is occasionally it’s hard to find a price, but you can just ask. It’s a small store so they’re standing right there next to you behind the counter. Salesfolk are friendly, even to me and I came by during a severe cold spell bundled up and looking kind of ragged.
I order on-line and everything from this store is fab-U-lous! Great customer service on-line and at the store. I appreciate the samples with each order and I have a collection of the measuring spoons in every color! German company in the U.S.A. I’m so pleased that they’re here in the States…..converting one coffee drinker at a time to the sublime world of TeaG.
LOVE their teas! Every tea I’ve tried from them I’ve loved. Moon Palace, Honey Melon, Arabian Nights (both caf and decaf), some chai version. I love their mixes of green and black teas, like Arabian Nights. Excellent teas and friendly service! I like that I can buy the tea online as well so I can still stock up when I move out of Chicago.
I was introduced to TG through a Groupon so bravo to them for their marketing! I really need to do more research on where these places are before I buy though. I live just outside the city and don’t go downtown terribly often so when my husband and I were supposed to meet a friend downtown on Michigan Ave I took the opportunity to check this place out.
Location: It’s a cute spot in a nice are filled with shops and restaurants. While the area has charm, it does not have parking. My husband had to let me out while he went in search of a parking spot. He ended up in a loading zone about 5 minutes away.
The Shop: It was smaller than I was expecting (that’s what she said), but cute. They had a good assortment and balance between tea and hardware. I had a few complaints about the store, however.
1. Some of the pre-bagged tea was marked with a price, most was not. When I shop, especially with a Groupon or other coupon I try to be as little of a bother as possible because I know they’re losing a portion of their margin on the marketing that brought me there. If you don’t have things clearly marked I have to ask. While I’d love to just be able to buy whatever tickles my fancy regardless of price, that’s just not realistic, so price your merchandise already.
2. Some tea was pre-bagged and was out with cute little smelling jars (even if the lids were a bit difficult to get off without feeling like I would end up flinging tea everywhere), most, however, was tucked behind the counter. Teavana does this and it just irritates me on a couple of levels. First, see the above comment about not being a bother. Second, this makes me feel rushed. There’s a tea place down the street from me that has all their tea out with smelling jars. I’ve been known to spend a fair amount of time sniffing and resniffing there before making my decision. I don’t feel like I can do that when I’m relying on the salespeople to scoop some out to smell. Plus I feel weird putting my nose near stuff that other people will eventually buy. Sounds like a good way to spread germs to me.
Service: No complaints here, the staff was very nice and helpful, suggesting teas based on my preferences. The girl didn’t even seem annoyed by the 5-10 tins I had out to smell. She was also very gracious about my Groupon, not all businesses are (you offered it!).
There’s also a tea bar for to-go tea which looked nice (I didn’t partake due to the afformentioned parking situation).
I’d certainly stop back in if I happened to be in the area as I’m loving the two I’ve had so far (O’Connor’s Cream and a Rooibos K-something), but, given the difficulty of its location, I wouldn’t make a special trip.