Now I had heard about Teavana and all the buzz associated with it and their teas for quite some time. The closest one is an hour away from me in the Briarwood Mall in Ann Arbor and I’ve never made the trek out there yet to check it out.
However I have checked out their website several times over for the last two years or so and I’ve been hard pressed to find flavors that interested me enough to make the trip and they have such exorbitant shipping charges I’ve never ordered anything until the birthday bonanza of tea recently because I felt I had waited long enough for the Teavana experience.
Now the one flavor that intrigued me a long time ago was on sale and apparently now discontinued. Well of course I found it on Amazon with a seller and unfortunately it was now at full price. $16.99 for a little 2oz. package of loose leaf tea is outrageous but the shipping was free because I was purchasing more items from Amazon together with it. The tea flavor was S’mores and I remembered that the reviews were mixed but many people liked it. It even comes with tiny marshmallows in the leaves! I mean it must taste like s’mores, right?
The other current flavor that interested me from the website was Pumpkin Spice Brûlée Oolong. I love pumpkin spice and have two grocery store pumpkin spice teas already in the vault. One from Bigelow and one from Celestial Seasonings. They’re similar but I slightly prefer the Celestial Seasonings one. I also like to put Italian Cream coffee creamer in it with half my usual amount of sugar. Since it’s the end of the season, Pumpkin Spice Brûlée was on sale. I purchased it from Teavana through Amazon and got it for the sale price but the shipping charges were more than the tea price! Real big turnoff right there!
I had been waiting a long time to try S’mores flavor tea so I got that one going right away on the day it arrived last week. I saw the tiny marshmallows in the bag and what seemed like chocolate bits in there too. Supposedly it also had a graham crackers taste. But it didn’t smell chocolatey. It smelled spicy. It infused to a dark brown. It smelled so spicy I put a little sugar and my Italian Cream coffee creamer in it. Basically it had no resemblance to a s’more! Not even a whiff of chocolate taste was present. It tastes like the weaker pumpkin spice tea from Bigelow. What a huge letdown!
So after the S’mores tragedy I was a little gun-shy to try the other Teavana flavor and went through some other new ones before I got to it dead last. It infused to a rich dark brown and I put my Italian Cream creamer in it and a little sugar. It definitely tasted like pumpkin spice but it was just like the Celestial Seasonings one from the grocery store. Absolutely nothing special!
I mean maybe it’s the flavor that I went with…Pumpkin Spice can only taste like so much. But S’mores! C’mon people! The thing should at least taste like chocolate for goodness sake! Perhaps Teavana has different teas in their store than the website but I don’t think I’m going to put myself out to find out.
My true loyalty is to Republic of Tea. I’ve only had a few misses with their products and they have a nice low flat shipping rate. Also there is a little place out of New York that sells a small variety on Amazon of her delicious teas called Lana Little Tea House. She has her full tea collection online at lanastea.com. The shipping charges are a little high but her teas are full of flavor and worth it!
So the cult of Teavana can count me out a convert….I’m a citizen of the Republic! 🍵