A Teavana location opened up inside the UTC mall last week. We had seen the store sign shortly after UTC mall debuted its remodel, but it’s taken quite some time to finally open.
We have never been to the other locations, but Mr. K was really interested in checking it out because he really loves tea.
The store sells a wide variety of gourmet loose leaf teas, prepared tea drinks, and all sorts of tea related equipment from teapots to tea thermoses.
We sampled a few brewed teas while inside the store and ended up buying a few gifts for friends. There is a large wall lined with canisters of tea flavors.
One thing that really bothered us, was how hard the employees were trying to make a sell. Upon entering, we were assigned an employee who showed us around. We then politely told her we were really just passing by and browsing and weren’t in the market to buy anything specific. But she continued to stick with us and follow us around. Finally, we decided we would bring home a little bit of loose leaf tea to brew at home. We were turned over to another employee and we told her we just wanted a little to sample at home and weren’t comfortable making a big purchase with teas we haven’t yet tried. We asked for the minimum amount (2 oz). The employee conveniently did not hear us and scooped out about 1 lb of tea which we then had to ask her to put back to get down to 2 oz. Given that the majority of teas cost more than $10/oz, one pound versus 2 ounces is a huge difference.
We also decided to order a cold tea to go. I like that it gives you a chance to sample a whole cup without committing to buying the loose leaf tea, but the wait was quite long since they have to brew each individual cup.
Overall, I liked the concept of the place, but I found most of it to be a bit overpriced. Unless I’m throwing a fancy tea party, I can’t really see myself spending so much on tea.
I always manage to “lose” all my money when I go in here. I always feel so pressured to buy…and buy, and buy, and buy.
Heh, yeah we planned on browsing and ended up with a bunch of stuff.
Oh man, the last thing I ever want is for someone to follow me around while I’m browsing. I hate that so much!
Seriously! Especially when I already said “okay thanks for your help, I think we’ll just browse a little.” That really should have been their exit…
When I went, they were not overly pushy just really attentive. I usually just go for the free samples anyways 😀
I do like all the free samples. =) but I didn’t like how pushy they were when I was there
If you guys are tea fans, give Chado a try next time you’re in LA. They have several locations, including the Japanese-American Museum. The service is incredible. The staff is very knowledgeable, and is willing to take time to help you make your selections. The food at the tea houses is excellent. Their prices are very reasonable, and the tea is great quality and variety. When I order online, I often have my tea before I get a shipping confirmation (it generally makes it to San Diego next day, even if you don’t pay for next day shipping!).
Thanks for the rec! I’ve heard of Chado though I haven’t tried it yet
Ugh, the tea at Teavana is actually really good but the salespeople have made it so I refuse to go there ever again. Sadly it seems to be that their salespeople are trained to do exactly what they did to you.
I was wondering if it was a grand opening thing or if they are always like that. But it made me not want to go back because I don’t want to feel forced to buy something.