My experience at Teavana.

For general/other topics related to tea.

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Oct 27th, '10, 00:26
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

by geeber1 » Oct 27th, '10, 00:26

Chip wrote:
iannon wrote:And just when it seems this threads about to slip into of "them" pops in and livens it up! awesome.
if nothing else its amusing
Keeps the topic near the top of certain google searches, which is ironic if you think about it.
geeber1 wrote:We were looking at a house a couple weeks ago and they had a tetsubin sitting on the stove. The realtor thought I was a nut when I took it off and set it on the counter. :)

I would likely have had to look and see if it was indeed a kettle sitting on the stove or a lined teapot inappropriately sitting on the stove.
I did and it was a lined teapot. I think they had potpourri or something in it, though, so I should have left it where it was!

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Oct 27th, '10, 01:32
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

by Geekgirl » Oct 27th, '10, 01:32

Oh good idea. I have one of those "warming" burners on my stovetop. Doesn't generate burner-level heat, but it would be perfect for potpourri in the winter - rid my house of that "wet dog" aroma. :lol:

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Oct 27th, '10, 01:46
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

by ChaoticDiva » Oct 27th, '10, 01:46

Hi. I'm new. I'm not a troll. Promise.

I actually stumbled across this forum looking for former and current disgruntled employees....lets just say I like to throw parties with fireworks.

I'll share my story when the ending is written. :)

And yes, I work for, Teavana.

Lets just say I'm disgruntled because they discontinued Pi Lo Chun...

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Oct 27th, '10, 01:50
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

by Chip » Oct 27th, '10, 01:50

ChaoticDiva wrote:they discontinued Pi Lo Chun...
There oughta be a law against that ...

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Oct 27th, '10, 02:00
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

by ChaoticDiva » Oct 27th, '10, 02:00

dandelionx wrote:Hi, guys!

Ok. I have been working at Teavana since July. Before this job, I never had any experience in this type of high-end sales. I've actually never been in a sales environment like this before in my life. I quickly learned the ropes of the job and realized I was good at selling.
I've been reading many of the comments on this forum and realized it was time for me to clear some things up. I love Teavana and have been a costumer from even before I started working there.
Teavana is a sales environment. If you are going to hone in on this business and tear it to shreds, you might as well do it for all other sales-based companies.
I have heard numerous comments about how Starbucks is at least friendlier then Teavana employees and they have a better environment overall. I have to admit I laughed at this. Starbucks is not a sales environment. Starbucks isn't the same kind of store as Teavana. At Teavana, we sell different ways to make tea, different things to add to tea collections, the tea and tea add-ons. Starbucks focuses mainly on drinks.
Starbucks is also more well known. Many people haven't even heard of Teavana, which is why we sample our teas and stand outside of the store. It's to get people to come and try something new. I always ask customers if it's their first time to Teavana. For the most part, it is!
Now, let me talk about the "sales process". We base how we interact with the costumer based on what they want. If it's their first time at Teavana, we'll show them around so they get a better idea of what Teavana is and what we sell. If the costumer is looking for a gift, we show the best items for gifts and so on. We are being informative.
Buying the teas. Let me put this out there first. We do not threaten or hold guns to costumers heads and demand you buy our products. I think it's ridiculous how angry and defensive people are getting at how much THEY spend. First off, I ALWAYS inform my costumers that the prices on the front of the tins are for 2 oz. I also add that there is an ADDITIONAL price for the tins. Maybe you just had a bad experience at one store or there were some other factors affecting your trip to Teavana but I have been to several and every time, (before I was employed and was just a regular costumer), I was informed of what I would be spending.
Just like in any other sales environment, Teavana is a hard-sale based company. The cast-irons may be expensive but they work. I've dropped mine several times. Once even down a flight of stairs while trying to balance a bunch of things *stupidly* and it looks like it's in brand new condition. And I bought my entire cast iron sale full price, before I got my job.
Now, I understand that the first few trips to Teavana can feel intimidating and you may believe the claims are skeptical but they aren't. And whether or not you want to say that's my opinion is fine with me. I drink the matcha tea with a mate and a black tea every single morning. Let me list just some of the benefits for you.
-Lowers cholesterol levels.
-Amazing for the heart.
-Unclogs arteries.
-Regulates blood sugar levels.
-Beneficial in weight loss.
-Helps curb appetite.
-Cardiovascular aid.
I have been drinking this blend for about 2 and a half months now and even I am amazed at the results. I eat less now and I don't exercise and I haven't changed my diet at all. In my family it is hereditary to have high cholesterol and blood pressure levels, but since getting in the habit of drinking this tea, they haven't been high at all.
Now, I understand this is just the results I have experienced but I keep in touch with many of my costumers and my friends as well and all have noticed a difference, drinking the different teas. Of course, I'm not implying that everyone will see differences. Everyone is different and some teas may not be that helpful, but for the many, many costumers that i keep in touch with, it has helped them significantly.
The thing that upsets me the most is how much bashing Teavana is encountering. I am completely in love with my job. My costumers always ask me if I work on commission, (which by the way, we don't), because I am so eager to sell but I always tell them it's because I have such a passion for the tea. If I didn't see the results for myself and if I didn't actually think the teas and the products were good, I first of all wouldn't be sitting here writing a whole post about Teavana, and I also wouldn't care so much about my job. The passion I have for the job is what keeps me wanting to work more.
I have so much more to add, but I'll keep it at this for now. I really hope that you'll reconsider and try going to Teavana once more. Maybe a different location if you had a bad experience at the first one you went too. I'm so passionate about Teavana and I work with my costumers anyway I can. Sales is a difficult environment to work in and you need to realize that Teavana is here to help you.
Try going into Teavana again. Realize that while we may have to go through our sales pitch and what not, we are here to help you. If you tell us what you want, be it to not spend $25 on tea, or to find a tea that has a certain health benefit, we will do our best to help you find what you are looking for.

You're an idiot. And this is coming from someone who has worked in corporate Business to Business sales as well as retail sales, including Teavana.

Take a look at the unnecessary crap you are selling during a recession. And look again at their sales model. XL tins when a ceramic sealed jar that most people have in their kitchens already works fine? That doesn't sound like helping the customer to me.

Teavana isn't all bad. Its a great starting place for people who want to start drinking teas. But as with any real sales job, there is an amount of puffery that takes place. Anyone who doesn't see this isn't that familiar with the general sales model that is taught in corporate America and business schools nationwide.

To help your understanding of the sales process:

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Oct 27th, '10, 02:01
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

by ChaoticDiva » Oct 27th, '10, 02:01

Chip wrote:
ChaoticDiva wrote:they discontinued Pi Lo Chun...
There oughta be a law against that ...
Right! Definitely my favorite green tea. Actually, the only one I drank there. I used to mix it with Eastern Beauty, which is also discontinued. Boo to them.

Oct 30th, '10, 21:54
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

by Streak » Oct 30th, '10, 21:54

I haven't read the entire thread, only the initial post, but after reading that it does make me inclined to avoid Teavana.

I confess, I just recently made a purchase there (my very first tea purchase from another vendor besides Adagio). I wanted to try the Silver Needle tea, and Adiago doesn't have a 2 oz bag available. I'm not able to splurge on the 4 oz bag at the moment, so I went with 2 oz from Teavana.

For the record, Teavana has some lovely tumblers and assorted teaware, and I really wish Adagio could compete more in that area. I started drinking tea because I'm trying to break a coffee and soda addiction, and to be honest, it's been a bit of an adjustment. Using attractive equipment and drinking out of aesthetically pleasing vessels is a luxury, of course, but anything that makes the experience more pleasant is a plus because it encourages me to drink more tea.

If an Adagio staff member happens to be reading, I'd love to see something like the double walled insulated porcelain and insulated glass tumblers teavana carries. They're gorgeous and they really do inspire me to drink (and buy!) more tea. If Adagio started selling those, or something comparable, I doubt I'd ever look elsewhere for tea or tea supplies.

Nov 9th, '10, 10:18
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

by Jenna » Nov 9th, '10, 10:18

I would agree with her story regarding their claim to be the world's leading premium retailers! Although I purchase my teas online at a great price and great quality, I was despereate oneday and couldnt wait for the shipment, so I forced myself into a teavana store!

While an employee was opening a back of Peppermint to refill the large container they had, I commented on how it smelled darn nice. She said "oh yes! Here take a better smell!" Well, as she brought the tin close up to my face, I'd realized that more than half of the peppermint leaves were brown and the rest green.... This means TWO things, 1)Teavana had VERY CRAPPY PEPPERMINT; 2) These Peppermint leaves already turned burn and dead prior to drying it! I know because Oregon is the largest supplier in the world for Peppermint and I buy pounds of them from Oregon! Never, has my peppermint had brown leaves!

Their WHITE tea quality is horrible to Chinese standards. To determine good quality white tea, try brewing a cup without filter. If it is premium or at least good average quality, all or most of the white tea would be vertically floating just right beneath the surface. has to be vertically floating beneath the surface...all get that? Teavana seems to blend alot of crap White Tea with and very little okay white tea. I've noticed all my white tea sinks to the bottom, and maybe one or two leaves float but struggle in the vertical department!

Another thing, it's sold by ounce. So what do they do? They add PINAPPLE BITS, APPLE CHUNCKS whatever just to make it so freaking heavy! Notice how they sell white tea but it's always blended with something that weights it down. So lets say you buy two ounces, well a quarter total of the two ounces is white tea, the rest is nuts or peaches whatever!

It's horrible how western culture turned a beautiful and relaxing and healthy eastern concept into corporate greed. From a business standpoint, props to them for being great sales company...

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Nov 14th, '10, 15:27
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

by ssserica » Nov 14th, '10, 15:27

I have been lurking on this site and recently started posting. my first contact with loose leaf tea was from overseas gift by one of my work contacts. i loved it and after that job Teavana was the only place i found easily that sold loose leaf tea this was about 3 years ago. They actually really broadened my tea knowledge and love for tea. after about 1+ year with paying the prices I decided to look elsewhere, but i still buy tea blends from them. I will say this much, i have gotten some tea's from Asian markets prepackaged that are of less quality and of course less priced. true Teavana is totally overpriced for the quality but their quality from my experience is not bottom ranked. I will also say that for tea blends they come up with the best hands down! I personally like straight tea without the extras and i find that shopping at online vendors will give much better quality. but for my cold tea's i like blends and i find teavana's are still best for this, possibly i have not found the right tea blends online because i am sure there may be a way to get it cheaper. I have not found the sales people to ever be pushy with me more or less informative. I honestly feel Teavana is opening up tea to alot of people and that can not be a bad thing.

Nov 16th, '10, 08:43
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

by lcweid » Nov 16th, '10, 08:43

New member and former employee/store manager....GREAT PLACE TO VENT. Its amazing! I have to say...29 pages of former employees complaining about TEAVANA....if ANYONE questions the validity of it, I have to question them. If it were only one or two, or a handful of people, then I'd have to think, oh its just disgruntled employees who didn't get their way. BUT 29 pages??? One would hope Teavana corporate would read this and change....but that will never happen. I quit over 10 years ago and I still have ill feelings towards the company and have never bought from them since the day I left. Why would I ?? And, anyone I talk to I direct to other websites and highly encourage them to never go to the stores.

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Nov 16th, '10, 13:58
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

by TwoPynts » Nov 16th, '10, 13:58

Welcome to TeaChat lcweid.
Now tell us how you really feel!

Nov 21st, '10, 19:49
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

by matcha/mate.enthusia » Nov 21st, '10, 19:49


Long-time tea/mate/herbal infusion enthusiast, new to the forum. I also had a similar experience as a Teavana customer, which I might as well share in the interest of forewarning those for whom Teavana appears very appealing. Now, my experience wasn't horrible, but upon entering and sampling some of the rooibos I was immediately given the oft-mentioned 'hard sell'. The salesman's tactics were particularly annoying in that he acted as if he was going to stand back and allow me to browse, but every time I showed the slightest interest in something, he would immediately leap into the prepared speech on why the most expensive version of this, that, and the other was necessary for the optimal tea drinking experience.

What everyone here has said about the knowledge of the employees rung true for me as well--this salesman, while he was fairly pleasant (if aggressive) made the ridiculous comment in regard to one of their electronic tea-brewing presses/systems that 'everyone in Japan has one', claiming to have lived in Japan for extensive periods. Heh. At this I could only snicker quietly while he launched into more sales pitches about cast-iron tea kettles, the content of which seemed a little dubious at best. I departed without purchasing anything too expensive, wishing to compare prices before investing serious money in teaware.

Now, with that said, I don't detest Teavana so much as to refuse to buy anything from them in the future (even though the salesman seemed a tad supercilious and actually depreciated some of the products in an effort to look knowledgable/sell more), and I am considering purchasing a few items from them very soon. Several people on here have complained about the quality of the teas there, but no one seems to have specifically mentioned the matcha, which is sold by the cylinder. Has anyone tasted this? Experiences, thoughts? As for accessories as well, how would everyone advise me? Would it be that unadviseable/bad to purchase a small matcha whisk which looks decent (albeit a little overpriced)? Another set of items under consideration is the Cuia (Mate Gourd) and metal spoon-shaped bombilla (mate straw). I examined these in person when I was last there, and they seemed to be of fairly high quality. The prices are decent, too, compared with the mate accessories sold at Guayaki ( The main advantage for me is proximity-shipping costs associated with ordering online from anywhere else (or Teavana, for that matter) are outrageously high, and the mall with this outlet is pretty close...not to hijack this thread, but if anyone has had any experience with these particular products and would like to share, I'd be much obliged...

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Nov 21st, '10, 22:57
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

by SlientSipper » Nov 21st, '10, 22:57

:shock: I read at least a 1/3 of this thread.
I recently got hired at Teavana.

I had a feeling that the sales business would be an insidious one but, not to this extent. I can't say I'm all that suprised.

I applied part time there. The manager seems nice and the co workers appear to be very nice people. I guess I will be adding to these stories then.

In their defense I must say that I was surprised at how they initially treated me. Most places I've applied at casually look at me and then never call me again. This place called me up treated me well.
I hope this place is not like the others. :)

Nov 22nd, '10, 18:36
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

by miggyjb » Nov 22nd, '10, 18:36

So I officially hate Teavana, specifically the Chicago, IL Water Tower location. I once was dazzled by their selection of teas and tea pots but no more. I went in one day looking for some cups i could buy to match a tea pot i was giving as I gift. They had nothing to match exactly, and although I should have taken this as my cue to lead, the manager came over and asked me if i needed help. I showed him the picture of the tea pot and let him know it was a gift. He kept trying to convince me to go with the cups and as soon as i said maybe he was taking the tags off of the cups without letting me know the prices of them. He let me know I could return them while he rung me up. Well I put the cups up with the other part of the gift at home and then one day walking through another store I found cups that were a lot cheaper and matched a lot better. 2 months had passed but I figured it shouldn't be a problem since i had never used the cups and I still had my receipt. However, I was very wrong. The same guy that sold me the over priced cups totally changed his attitude when he heard I wanted to return the items to the store he looked at the receipt and then looked at each cup intently like I was lying about not using them or needing them. After looking at the cups he said I could not return them because of the policy at the bottom of the receipt. Apparently they have a 30 day return policy, the same policy no name stores that sell bs merchandise have. I let him know I didn't know about the policy and that since these items were gifts I had no use for them anymore. I was even willing to take store credit or exchange for something else. However, taking the customer is never right approach, he let me know there was nothing he could do and nothing I could do. He started to re wrap them for me with his smug attitude. I then asked what I could do with cups I couldn't use and didn't need and he said I could sale them on craigslist, although I would probably loose a couple of bucks. (What lousy customer service). I will never shop here again, not even for tea. Not only do they assume their customers are idiots but that they are also made out of money. You think the store would have a better policy and offer better customer service because honestly, how many people are really in the market for tea pots starting at $70 when you can go to Pier 1 and get a whole set for way less than $70. Anyways, I am totally over Teavana and their sleezy selling tactics. And I am warning everyone, buyer beware.

Nov 25th, '10, 05:16
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Re: My experience at Teavana.

by matcha/mate.enthusia » Nov 25th, '10, 05:16


Not to seem as if I'm beating a dead horse here at this point (since I was quite a Johnny-come-lately to this entire topic) but I recently learned a few interesting things regarding Teavana following another experience there.

Today I revisited the same Teavana location mentioned in my previous post to purchase a mate gourd. (Technically, this was yesterday, as it is almost 3:00 a.m. in my time zone as I post this.) I know, I know, Teavana is an overpriced, soulless corporation which will rob you blind and sell you inferior tea and all that (at least according to the majority of posters on this forum) but I greatly needed a cuia and Teavana was, overall, the most accessible, expedient, and (strangely) the most affordable option available. That said, I was on an extremely tight budget and could only afford the gourd and nothing more whatsoever. While there I learned two effective methods of avoiding the aggressive 'hard sell/supersize me' tactics of the less-than-scrupulous sales model, if you absolutely must from time to time (as I am often compelled) physically venture into Teavana for some accessories or perhaps a favorite blend.

First, being 'black week', the Wednesday before 'Black Friday' when throngs of sale-seeking holiday shoppers flood the malls and retail establishments, the entire mall and the Teavana store itself was quite crowded. This worked ultimately to my advantage as the few sales people in the outlet were highly distracted by the flowing influx of customers, allowing me to slip in quietly, find what I was looking for, and even sample some teas while browsing matcha-related merchandise in peace! Somewhat ironic, isn't it, that I found the greatest serenity in a noisy crowd in the supposedly 'zen-esque' store? I think that this says quite a bit about Teavana's actual atmosphere, but I digress. Really, though, overwhelmed with the sheer volume of customers and curious window-shoppers, the two or three employees didn't really seem focused upon intensively selling any individual any particular item(s), and were actually standing back and allowing people to look around and show interest in items of their own volition.

Also, when I reached the shelf with the gourds, a few questions immediately came to mind. Were they pre-cured, or would I have to 'cure' my purchase myself in order to mitigate bitterness? Some gourds differed in size drastically--did the larger ones cost more? I was almost tempted to inquire after a saleswoman on the first point, but then I realized that this would be just opening the door to a rehearsed sales pitch which I neither needed nor desired. So I resolved my questions myself by a.) sniffing the inside of the cuia to determine if it was 'pre-cured' (it isn't, as I discovered) and b.) remembering from the website the all cuia sold for a flat $14.00, with no mention of size. Had I approached her and asked, 'Hey, are these pre-cured?' I'm almost certain (given past experiences) that the question would have immediately elicited a response along the lines of, 'Well, they aren't, but here's how you do it...and on that subject, would you like some of our special (read: expensive) mate blend to cure it with for the best flavor possible? Now, remember, once it's cured the flavor's in there forever, so you've got to be sure and choose a good one!' :lol: :roll:

Thusly stated, the 'moral' of this experience, (if you could properly call it that) is twofold. If you must enter a Teavana store, and the aggressive sales tactics REALLY make you THAT uncomfortable, or if you are the sort of person who simply finds himself/herself unable to say 'no', try to go when it's likely to be busy or high-traffic, before holidays, etc. Secondly, do your best to resolve any questions yourself through logic, intuition and your own knowledge of tea, rather than relying upon the salespeople to answer them for you, as this just brings on the 'hard sell' that you are attempting so desperately to avoid.

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