Teavana…An almost enlightening experience

The first time I went to Teavana, I was mesmerized.

Could I be a better person if I just drank loose leaf tea? Would I be enlightened? Could I really tap into the fountain of health? Would I be more socially attractive?

All these questions burned in my mind while tasting the most beautiful teas ever created.

Something stuck so I decided to return to buy some tea.

Bad News

I knew that the tea I wanted was $12. I didn’t really know much else. I actually didn’t even want to spend $12, but tried to justify the cost in my own mind. As I was talking to the saleslady, I told her what I wanted. I said I wanted some of the jasmine I had sampled and some of the youthberry. I tried to tell her how I wanted to buy less of each. Maybe 1 ounce. She told me I should really buy it by the pound because it was SO much better of a deal. She said I would basically get several ounces for free. Wait….how many ounces are in a pound? Everything was happening so fast….I mustered up the courage to tell her I just wanted the price in the pamphlet. $12. Easy right?

Wrong.

She quickly started to ring me up. I was confused why there were so many bags. She failed to mention that because it was a blend I needed multiple teas. (I only figured this out later) Instead of selling me a total of 2 oz, she sold me 2 oz of 4 different teas.

She asked me if I had anything to keep my tea in.

-Nope.

Well, you will need a tin.

-How much?

$7

-No thanks.

Your tea will only last a week without it. (feel threatened yet?)

-I better drink it fast then.

Your total is $46.00.

-WHAT!!?? (I didn’t actually say anything…just sorta stared at her)

The funny part is my husband had just walked in and was standing by me. He said, “did you just spend $40 on tea!?”

Yep.

I was swindled.

In fairness, I was the stupid one that didn’t know anything about anything. (And thanks to Teavana’s return policy, I can’t take it back)

Honestly, I feel seriously taken advantage of. I mean, I understand that people are trying to sell you something, but I would be a better customer if I felt like I was treated fairly. It’s about trust, and I feel like I lost trust in Teavana.

Good news

I did take my tea home, and it was good. REAL good.

I did some online reading and it looks like many people are in the same boat as me. Hate the business ethics of Teavana, but love the tea. Another perk of the tea is that it is gluten-free (except one).

So will I continue to drink their tea?

Yes. It is the most beautiful thing I have ever tasted.

HOWEVER, I will buy it online.

My recommendations are the youthberry orange blend, the jasmine peach blend, and the rock sugar.

Also, you can get some really beautiful cast iron tea pots for WAY less here. Only $42 instead of $200.

I would recommend trying some of their teas…but be wise about it. Know what you are getting into. Maybe try some of their teas in the store and then buy online. Understand that they tea you are tasting in the store is a blend of 2 different teas AND contains rock sugar. 2 oz is plenty of tea-about 15 cups..PLUS you can reuse your tea for a second brew..making it 30 cups. Works out to be about .75 per cup.

So Teavana, while your tea is delicious, your sales tactics suck.

While I would love to stick around and talk tea…I need to get drinking. I only have one week to finish $46 worth of tea.

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Moroccan Mint Tea

As-Salāmu `Alaykum, or peace be with you in Arabic.

I learned this common greeting while I was in Morocco several years ago. We were doing a few days of language school,  and this is the only Arabic I can remember!

What I do remember from this trip are the sights and sounds of Morocco. Entering the town of old Fez, (only by donkey or foot) was like a scene straight out of Aladdin. We had to hire a donkey to carry our luggage to our hotel.

I was privileged to see many sights of Morocco; Casablanca, the old city of Fez, the markets of Marrakesh and the Volubilis Roman ruins

I also remember the food. Our usual fare was rotisserie chicken with fries, or even better, was the lamb tanjine, something hard to come by in North America.

We would always finish our meal with a piping hot cup of Moroccan mint tea. Served in a small glass cup, poured high from above to mix the flavors and produce foam.

Traditionally, the tea is served three times, and each glass has a unique flavor from the steeping process, according to the famous proverb:

The first glass is as bitter as life,

the second glass is as strong as love,

the third glass is as gentle as death.

I think I would like to try my hand at growing my own mint, so I can have this tea more often, and remember the wonder that Morocco holds.

Moroccan Mint Tea Recipe

2 servings

Cost $1.00 per cup

4 cups boiling water
2 tsp loose green tea
1 Tbsp sugar (or to taste)
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

First, boil some water to rinse out your teapot. Add your green tea and some boiling water.
Let this steep for 2 minutes, then discard the water, leaving the tea leaves in the pot. (This will help the tea not be bitter) Fill pot with another 2 cups hot water, the mint and the sugar. Allow to steep for several minutes.

Pour tea from high up, creating foam in the teacup.

Enjoy!