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February 21, 2013

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KDH

I'm sure their tea steeps longer than the recommended 2-3 minutes as well. There's no way they could keep their eye on that many teas and keep rebrewing them...I mean, they're not carrying timers around ;)

My experience in the store has been more like a car dealership than a tea store. It's obvious that they get paid commission and they can be rather pushy and competitive. I feel like it should be more laid back and comfortable, but maybe that's just me.

barista147

They are probably using large brewers to make pots of samples (Davidstea does this) so that may also impact flavor. I have worked in a lot of tea shops and they all use extra leaves so the samples taste stronger. Hell at Starbucks I sometimes add an extra pump and steam my milk a bit hotter for samples because a smaller amount will affect taste and temp.

Rich

Interesting but not surprising. I had an infuriating experience at a Teavana, where I was just ordering a hot green tea, and the guy went on and on about the health benefits of white tea, and how he always adds white tea to whatever he's drinking, and would I like to add white tea to mine? I said sure. Looking at my receipt as I walked away, I didn't realize he had just upsold me $2.

Clearly the scrupulous thing to do is say "would you like to add white tea for another $2?", not to trick the customer. Worked on me once, and I won't be going back.

MuShuPork

I have always had great results with my teas and have recommended Teavana for several years. I have stopped going to the stores though because of the ungodly sales tactics. I only shop online now because they don't accidently dump 4oz of tea out and ask if that is okay when I only asked for 2oz. Repeatedly. With.Every.Single.Tea.I.Bought. They need to go back to the way they were.

...and bring back the Grean Tea Heaven

Moranin

I stopped by the local Teavana over the holidays and got an excellent reminder about why I swore "never again" a few years ago.

My husband and I were looking at a teacup for his mother, and discussing its merits (she's a leftie and the design was only one one side...so for a leftie drinker it'd mean staring at a blank mug).

As we started to drift to another part of the store, she and her co-worker started talking *really* loudly about how quickly they had gone through mug stock and were down to their lats few. It was just so hilariously hamfisted and transparent.

Not at all surprised to hear that they aren't all that transparent with their samples vs. customer recipes.

Hopefully Teavana's residual customer ill will won't tarnish Starbucks' brand.

Minnie

How can you tarnish a brand that treats their employees like cattle and cheats the customers (almost) as often?

Whatever

Oh whatever. Anyone familiar with loose leaf teas can see straight through this article.

Melissa

I went there last week and had a pushy experience. I only wanted to buy a small amount of tea and they salesman filled up a huge container and said it would be upwards of $65!! I also had to pay for the recommended $10 for the airtight container and he picked up a $10 strainer!!! I ended up saying no to the strainer, and only bought $20 worth of tea + the stupid airtight container. So annoyed when I got home to find that the tea tasted nothing like the sample at the store. Buyers beware!!! Never again.

Chellysimko

I used to work at Teavana. The ratios are the same and we steeped it for the right amount of time. The real secret was the rock sugar -- we put way more sugar into the samples than what most people would dare to put in.

The "nefarious" practices of Teavana, however, were our sales tactics and the way we were trained to add on items without disclosing they cost more money (ie. flippantly asking, "Do you want me to throw that tea in a tin? It'll keep the tea fresher for 8 more months than if it's in a bag," and not telling the customer that it cost $10 for the tin alone -- I only had a few handful of people catch it at checkout - most people didn't notice). I couldn't take the sleezy sales environment and left after a few months.

That being said, the tea is absolutely AMAZING. Having also worked for Sbux, I think they can change the culture of Teavana for the better. Working at Sbux made me a total Sbux advocate!

Cory

I used to work at Teavana before it was owned by Starbucks and the idea that we are 3x the tea as Recommended at home is the misleading claim, not our store. Think about it if you are making three times the amount of tea of course you need 3x the amount of leaves. It just makes sense. Obviously. We have to make enough tea for an entire carafe. The reason your tea doesn't taste the same at home is because we use a water heater that heats the water to the temperatures recommended for each tea, we use the German rock sugar, which any good sales associate will tell you you need to get the same taste, and YES whoever made the first comment, we do carry around timers. We use the same timers, tea spoons and strainers that we sell in the store. In short we use every item we sell and we have it down to a duplicateable system, that's why it's not so easy for you to duplicate. You can but you do need to buy all the products. So you save money by just buying the tea and it will not taste exactly the same, but hey it's still pretty good. We never lie or mislead.

cheetakita

I have been a real fan of Teavana. The instructions on the teas are just guidelines to your personal taste. I bought a Brevelle tea maker which only makes it simpler(just like a coffee maker)to make but I have made it using a timer and a meat thermometer with great success. Most teas, from other makers, never offer up the amount or temperature to brew their teas. The fact that they take the time and effort to give you a guideline is one of the reasons I go there. The other is the personable and educated staff (and it doesn't matter what store you go to either). You just have keep brewing it until you get it the way you like it. Finally, shame on you for not asking what price items cost because they have always given me the price when asked (most are printed on or near the product for you to see). I am also a fan of Sbux so I sure all will be good.

Dana

I have been a customer for years and my tea taste the exact same every time. They tell me every single time I'm there that the 1.5 tea spoon recommendation is for EVERY 8oz of tea if your doing hot and you DOUBLE the amount for the 8oz if your doing it iced. THAT MEANS if you do 64oz of hot tea you should use 12 teaspoons and if you do 64oz of cold tea you add 24tsp. I guess people should learn to listen and add! Also they allways push there sugar rocks and always tell you your tea will taste different if you add something else. Which I have found to be true. If you ask them they will tell you how much they add per 8oz too usually they just say sweeten the way you like. At least now I know why they annoyingly repeat this same information to me over and over and over again despite the fact they know my face. The one thing I am sad about is starbucks bought them now thats an annoying place.

JamesAndrew

The staff at Teavana, I used to frequent the one situated in Montreal in Alexis Nihon Plaza, make my skin crawl with their overly aggressive and borderline sleazy sales tactics. They are always trying to upsell; question your purchasing decision... "Are you sure you don't want more tea", "are you sure you don't want this as opposed to that tea spoon... it's much nicer". I mean come on! It really is too much to take. I sometimes feel that I'm in a comedy skit and there is a secret camera. Who the hell trains these people to act like such overaggressive sales jerks. Now, every tea drinker that I know simply avoids the place and take their business elsewhere. Teavana has alienated so many of their own clients (now former clients) in exchange for a quick cheap sale and are completely clueless to the fact.

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