Monica Goes to Teavana

I went to Teavana on Thursday while at the mall and after trying tea I found a tea I wanted to get a cup of to go. Plus, Starbucks bought Teavana so my Starbucks card works there.
I told the sales associate what tea I wanted and she said “Well, this will be three dollars and some change if you get it as a cup to go. If you buy the loose leaf, you can make 20 cups out of two ounces and it saves money.” The tea was $8 for two ounces, so I asked if I could have one ounce of it.

“Oh, you have to get two ounces of a tea. We have a minimum of two ounces.”

She then gave me a catalog of their teas and I saw Rooibos Chai was $4.80 for two ounces. I asked for two ounces of Rooibos Chai.

“Well, you need to buy one of our tins. They cost $6 and $7. They help protect the tea and make it last for a year.”

“I think I’ll skip the tin.”

“But it’s refillable.”

“I’ll buy a tin some other day.”

“But the tea won’t be as good if you don’t buy this tin.”

“I’m not interested in buying a tin.”

This, by the way, is my favorite part of Teavana’s strategy. According to them, you must buy one of their storage tins for tea or TEA AS WE KNOW IT WILL CEASE TO EXIST. Teavana overall tries to sell you on all of the things they have that are a bit overpriced. You need to prepare tea? You’ll need one of our tea pots, a small one of which will cost you more than $100. You want to prepare tea on the go? Buy a tumbler we have, which will cost you at least $40. And the proper way to brew their tea is to use one of the infusers, which starts at $20. But my favorite part is how they sell their storage tins.

The sales associate scooped up some of the Rooibos Chai leaves and put it in a bag to weigh it. The bag of tea leaves weighed 2.6 ounces.

“That should be okay,” she said.

“No, it isn’t okay,” I said. “I asked for two ounces of Rooibos Chai and that’s 2.6 ounces.” Now, if it had been 2.3 ounces, I wouldn’t have complained. But 2.6 ounces is closer to 3 ounces so I felt I needed to say “That’s too far away from the quantity I asked for.”

“Well, it’s in the bag so I can’t put it back in the tin.”

I bought the tea, which was possibly a mistake. I should have walked out to let them know I don’t appreciate their sales methods. Unfortunately, I really wanted tea and purchased the 2.6 ounces of Rooibos Chai, which is very delicious. This experience is not a unique experience from what I’ve heard, which disappoints me. I like good tea and if Teavana has a tea I’m willing to fork over $16 for in order to obtain just two ounces of it, I would do that if they didn’t have such intimidating business practices. (Teavana does have tea that costs $16 for two ounces) I want to buy my tea in peace without someone trying to hassle me into buying a $20 tea infuser or a $40 travel thermos.
At least the tea is good. On a positive note, it makes me appreciate Argo Tea even more.
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