This is one of my go to places in Chicago. They have a huge selection and their staff is incredibly friendly and helpful.
Great place to buy tea. Probably a hundred quality loose leaf options. Very high quality. Accessories for sale such as kettles, cups (unique and cute) and bags. Will make any of the teas hot or cold for you on the spot. Lemon, honey, milk and sugars available. Always a kind staff. Been there about 25 times. No place to sit down, fyi. Just a shop not a cafe… They do have chocolate and caramel for sale though. Plus, it’s next to several restaurants. Some bagged tea, probably about 15 or so selections. Otherwise, all loose leaf.I believe some of their tea may be artificially flavored so watch out/ask if that’s not okay by you.
I’ve been shopping here regularly for about four years now, and I feel like I’m completely spoiled! They’ve got an amazing variety of both blends and straight tea, and the shop staff is more than willing to spend time talking to customers and making recommendations. I’ve liked nearly everything I’ve had there, and I’ve never ever been disappointed with the quality of the tea. They also send you home with samples and nice little teaspoons, too!
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.