For those of you who don’t know Teavana is a store focused solely on Tea. Both the preparation, enjoyment sale and appreciation of tea in all its forms. Both true teas, and herbal infusions. Everything from Aged Pu-erh tea to the wonderful taste of a fresh Rooibos. The atmosphere was inviting at first, and the store quite nice to look at . They do have a selections of beautiful tea equipment as well. However the joy doesn’t last long.
From the moment I walked into the store, which was empty, My wife and I were attend by a salesman who began to direct us around the store. Showing us the wall of various teas, and moving us from station to station around the store sampling different teas. There was a subtle hint of something wrong, weather it was the matter in which we criss crossed the store, the odd claims on some of the teas, or something else. The clerk spoke only in buzzwords like antioxidants, and weight loss. I tried to ask about the Pu-Erh tea he reeled off the fact that it was an aged black tea and then went right into the health benifits of the blend he was standing in front of. Going from place to place in the store, and finally buying a tea that was much more expensive than I had intended I walked out of the store filled with regret. I had the feeling that I had fallen into a high pressure sales trap and I was right.
I felt that every move had been designed to focus me solely on the expensive products, and neglecting to mention the other choices. When I was done I paid roughly 50 dollars for a half pound of tea blend. That is a lot of money, but it would have been money well spent if the experience had been better, or if the tea had been pure-er. Instead I consider it a 50 dollar lesson learned. I won’t be going back into Teavana anytime soon. The blend we purchased had some good teas in it, and does taste quite nice but some of that weight that I paid for was also taken up by the amount of dried fruit thrown in. Pricing the same blend from a different purveyor of fine teas would have cost me 20 dollars less for more tea in the end. In fact there was not a visible price in the entire store, probably so they could move you among the expensive stuff without letting you know about the inexpensive options.
I enjoy tea a great deal, and while I’m not an expert on it by any means I do know sales, and sales tactics. I regret that I was taken this easily and I hope my experience in the store warns other people about how the store is organized. I read through this account after I spent some time looking around online and I was shocked how easily I had fallen into the pitch. Their aggressive upselling and glossing over facts by relying on buzzwords left a bad taste in my mouth.
I love walking into individual coffee roasters, some of them even have fine teas in the shop. I never feel pressure or get shuffled around the store, I meet people who are genuinely interested in what they are selling. While Teavana does look like that type of environment I’m sorry to report they have a lot to learn. Let me set this straight here the money that I spent was my fault for letting out of my wallet. I should have walked away or simply bought a cup of tea Something my wife noticed that they sell but I didn’t see.
I’ve spoken about it on my last show but I had to write something up about my experience with Teavana. If we are rating things. I’d rate the tea a 2.5 out of 5 beans and the store a 1 out of 5 beans. Maybe I should have used leaves? You think I’m alone? Not only after mentioning my trip in work did I find other people felt the same way but looking around online gives the same impression. If you want to sell teas and throw down some fine eastern origin relaxation perhaps you should ease up on the sales pitch? The expeiance listed above from the Consumerist? The same store I visited… Only that article was from 2009.
I can’t wait for Addiggio Teas to open somewhere near me. That looks like a great place.