The clerks at this store will use high-pressure methods to try to sell you tea and they will not tell you important details, such as that some of their teas contain artificial ingredients. This happened to me. The container that they put the tea in didn’t even have an ingredients list. But, something seemed off when I brewed a small amount and the color was strange, so I went to their website and was not surprised to find that the tea had artificial ingredients in it. So much for all the talk about how “premium” their teas are. They really put on such a show when selling the tea to me and what a disappointment that turned out to be. I contacted the company online and they were vicious to me in response. You’d think that they’d be apologetic for the issue, or even just show basic politeness, but they were miserable in their interactions with me. I did end up taking that tea back to the store and getting a refund, but not without having to deal with a cruel person that should never have been allowed to deal with other human beings as part of their job. (After doing a search on Teavana, I found a lot of former employees who said that they were treated in this same cruel manner while working there, so it was apparently not an isolated incident.)
I did purchase some teaware from there, which was overpriced, but needed at the time. In the future, I’d just purchase it online instead, as I did not like the character of the people working there or the environment they set.
Many months later, I walked by their store and saw them handing out samples. It looked like they were the kind of teas that had artificial ingredients in them. I said something to them and their answer was evasive. Beware when trying samples from them. If you really must try one and do not want artificial ingredients in your tea, ask them the name of the tea innocently beforehand. Then, take out your phone and look it up on the website. That is the only way that you’ll get an honest answer.
All in all, it’s a shame. Tea is a wonderful thing, but not when dealt with in this way. If you want to keep your love of tea (or even other people) intact, I would recommend to avoid this place.
As an alternative (so you are not left discouraged or without options) if you go to Mitsuwa, a Japanese supermarket which is not that far away, they will have a variety of teas, foods, and utensils that you may find wonderful to have as part of a tea gathering. There is also a small store right next to Mitsuwa which sells traditional tea sets. They’re expensive, but even just taking a look at them is a wonderful experience. All my interactions with the people from these stores were positive. Though, make a point of looking at the Google Maps listing before going and picking the hours where they are less crowded because the parking lot is very small and often fills up completely.