Cavocorax said

DavidsTea vs Teavana

Hey All!

I just wondered what the community’s opinion is of these two companies. I’ve spent a lot of money on DT, but never tried Teavana, even though I have one of those close by. Some of the comments made me think that maybe Teavana is inferior if you’re serious about tea (their blends have too much other stuff and not enough tea, or something like that?), but maybe those same people wouldn’t like DT either. So what do you guys think?

(I would just go buy some and try it but… I’m a little overspent on tea atm!)

104 Replies

I’ve never been to DAVIDs Tea but I have a Teavana near me and I frequent it. It wasn’t until I found steepster that I realized I may be overpaying. Teavana has a decent selection, from the DAVIDs Tea website it looks like theirs is bigger though. Teavana prices range from 4.80/2oz for a basic earl grey to 25.00/2oz for their highest quality oolong. I usually stick to herbal because of the cost but they have some interesting herbal selections; cococaramel sea salt, azteca fire (chocolate, strawberries, chili pepper) etc. If you’re looking for selection, DAVIDs Tea looks better to me. Price wise, they seem fairly similar. From what I’ve read and researced, DAVIDs is better quality tea and shopping in the store the sales clerks are far less pushy. At Teavana they are trained to sell you more than you want, so when you order 2oz of a tea, they pour 2.5 and ask if that’s ok, they make a type of commission on their sales as a team so they are likely to show you the pricier teas first and over pour your order.

I’d love to hear more about your experience with DAVIDs Tea though, I’m considering an online order but some feedback if you could would be greatly appreciated!!


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darby select said

I love both companies. I started getting in to Davids about 2 months ago. I have found them to be SUPER nice and any emails have been returned quickly.

As for tea quality – they seem fairly similiar to me. Both have tons of blends. Davids seems to add more “candy” pieces in theirs which is fun. I don’t usually add any sugar then.

I don’t have a Davids shop near me but do have Teavana. They can be friendly in the store, but working on commission can be pushy. Since I know that I just deal with it and tell them no. I’ve never had someone argue with me on it.

They actually don’t work on commission. They get paid regualr wage then their hours per week are based on sales (if they average over an amount they get 2% of their sales that month)… similar to commission but different model.
Poor guys. If you are lucky the store near you will have good staff that have a balanced approach where you are the focus. I find this depends on management.

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Sil select said

To be honest I’m not a fan of either. I suppose if I had to choose I’d go with David’s Tea over Teavana as i’ve had much better experiences with DT. However, as I’ve gotten to read and share with people on steepster, there are so many other great tea places out there, that both of those places would be my last resort.

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Kiaharii said

I’ve never had tea from Teavana, and have stayed clear because of bad things I’ve heard and their prices. I like some of DT teas but it’s kind of hit or miss, I do have some favorites from there though.

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Cattibrie said

I enjoy David’s Tea. I had a bad experience twice at Teavana (although it was Teaopia then or vice versa) but also had a great experience at a different Teavana. My neice swears by Teavana. Both have good things and bad things. I have always found my shopping experience is much nicer at Davids but it is personal experience. Although with the internet I can’t wait to try some of the other tea places on the web. And I have discovered recently that my husband is related to someone that runs a tea shop in California. Can’t wait to order from them. Tillerman teas I think it is called.
All you can do it try some teas. Not everyone has the same experience or same preferences so it is really individual.

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Being able to buy whatever amount of tea you want at a DavidsTea location = super win over Teavana which has a minimum of like 2oz. That way, if the tea is a miss, I only spent a couple bucks on a sample vs more money on a big bag of it.

Raritea said

My feelings exactly. The first time I walked into Teavana and found out that I would have to get 2 oz. (side note: Can we get measuments in grams in Canada? I like my tea measuments in grams) if I wanted to try anything…I just headed right back out the door. David’s Tea has so many great teas (many of which I still haven’t tried) it isn’t worth having to commit to such a large amount of one tea when there is so much to be explored!

Babble said

THIS. Especially when it comes to some of the pricier blends. Teavana has some interesting blends in the $10-15 range, but no way am I dropping that kind of money when I might not even like the tea.

And does Teavana in Canada seriously weigh everything in ounces? Because that’s pretty ignorant..

momo said

Yep, they just put on the receipt that 2 oz is 50-something grams.

Babble said

Does DT in America weigh things in oz or g? I was pretty sure they weigh things in oz when in America.

Claire said

Having just been at the new David’s in SF this last weekend, I can confirm that they weighed the tea in ounces. I also appreciate that there is no minimum at David’s. Frankly 2oz of tea is a lot to be stuck with if you hate something.

Cavocorax said

Oh! That’s a very good point. Thanks for bringing that up!

I work at a Teavana location that used to be a Teaopia, so I hesitate to speak for all Canadian Teavanas, because I don’t always know how we differ. But our scale measures in grams, we explain the weights to the customers in grams UNLESS they are American and confused by that, the prices on the tins are in grams… Actually, come to think of it, it would be weird if the other Canadian Teavana stores did not weigh the tea in grams.

But our POS program is pretty clearly just a slightly modified version of the American till program. The quantity “1” on it is actually one ounce, and all the weights in grams are converted relative to that standard. We kiiinda hate it and wish they would come up with a version of the program for Canada that actually uses grams directly rather than converting it. Ringing tea in manually when the scale isn’t printing properly would be much easier (we have the conversion formula taped beside the till), and it would be easier for customers to read their receipt. Maybe someday!

Also, it is possible for you to return or exchange the tea if you don’t like it.

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Teavana, I’ve never had a specifically “bad” experience, but the fact that they charge so much always leaves me wondering if it was worth it.
Davids, well I’ve had both good and bad experiences there. It also really turns me off that they use so many artificial ingredients, though they do disclose it, which is pretty bold, and I’m not entirely sure whether Teavana uses them or not, as they don’t declare any ingredients at all.
Also, a good friend of mine works at Teavana, so I might be biased against them because I’ve heard some things…
One other thing, I’ve yet to find a Teavana blend that I LOVE, though I only tried a few

FYI, you can find the full list of ingredients for Teavana teas on the website, it’s under “preparation/ingredients” for each tea.

If someone has a concern about a specific ingredient, I generally let them read the ingredients list on the tin in-store, since they probably know all the names for it and how to recognize it better than I would.

They use artificial flavouring in quite a few teas, although the full ingredients list will be very specific about that.

as far as i know david’s lists artificial ingredients whenever they are present. additionally if you ask the tea Guide to only show to teas without artificial flavours they would be more than happy to do so!

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Teavana is overpriced and their sales tactics are pushy at best, dishonest at worst (giving customers more than they ask for, neglecting to mention a tin is 7 dollars a pop, not zeroing out scales for weights of tins). That being said, I’m a sucker for flavored teas and they have some tea I LOOOOVVEEE. And there’s literally one just a few blocks from me. It’s nice to be able to pop in and get an iced mate on my way to where I’m going. Go in prepared, get a good non-pushy sales person, or shop online. And I wouldn’t buy “regular” teas from them. IE earl grey or non-flavored greens as you can get similar quality for MUCH cheaper than elsewhere.
That being said, I can’t live without their Sakura Allure, My Morning Mate, or Raspberry Riot Mate mixed with Citrus Lavender Sage.

I don’t have a David’s Tea by me, and I just barely placed my first order a few days ago. It hasn’t arrived yet, so I don’t know how their tea stacks up.

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Uniquity said

I’ve never had Teavana tea but I have heard the horror stories.

I do happen to frequent Davids Tea and while my taste buds aren’t thrilled by all their blends anymore, I respect the company and I sincerely appreciate it for opening my eyes to loose tea. I’ve noticed them getting more unflavoured teas again lately which I REALLY appreciate. I do highly recommend Davids, though I see them turning more and more to the Teavana tactics lately (I’ve been over-poured a couple times and customer service is diminishing). It is still FAR superior to the treatment I’ve received at many other tea houses though.

Uniquity, overpoured as in they gave you more than you asked for without saying anything or did they ask?

Uniquity said

Over-poured and asked if that was okay. It’s only happened a couple times so I like to think it’s just cuz they’re busy rather than a corporate policy. I used to feel guilty and just say okay but now I just ask them to take a bit out please and thanks. : )

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Alphakitty said

I would go with DavidsTea, especially in person. Being able to buy small amounts is a huge bonus, and they have some blends I just can’t live without (Coffee Pu-erh!). Plus their sales staff is super nice, very helpful, and not at all pushy which is probably what is most important to me. If I am going to buy tea in person I want it to be a soothing, pleasant experience, which is why DT and Hareny & Sons are my favorite places to go.

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