Earlier this year, Starbucks announced plans to close all of their mall-based Teavana shops by early 2018. All 379 Teavana stores will be shut down in the coming year because they have not demonstrated enough profitability for Starbucks to keep them open for business. Even after Starbuck’s best effort to bring about change in their subsidiary company, they were unable to grow Teavana into the monster they needed for it to be. As an avid tea drinker, this came as VERY sad news.
Teavana created a few key teas that I’d buy but even then, the majority of my teas were actually purchased elsewhere. I think this was due to a combination of factors. First of all, Teavana was overpriced for the quality of the tea sold. I know they were gunning for a fancy high-end tea store vibe but realistically, it was hard to justify spending that much money on tea leaves when better ones could be purchased elsewhere for less. In fact, other shops have less expensive tea that tastes better! To be fair, you pay for convenience. Wasn’t it nice having such a large chain like Teavana in your local mall?
I’ll miss Teavana for the simple joy of seeing tea stores. In America, it actually makes me sad how nonexistent our tea culture is! People take so much pride in buying their $5.00 Starbucks coffee every day yet you have to go so far out of your way just to find a place that sells loose leave teas. Sometimes it is impossible! Sorry, teabags just don’t cut it.
Why is tea not more popular in the USA? I really don’t understand. To me, it feels like this hidden gem in America. Tea has so many health benefits and it is pleasant to drink. The smell is calming and its taste is gentle. The caffeine content, which ranges depending on the type of tea, is minimal so you can enjoy a boost of energy and mental clarity without getting jittery as you might from coffee or an energy drink. Alertness and focus, all without the coffee caffeine crash. What a sweet deal!
If you’re a tea drinker like me and you are concerned about Teavana closing, all hope is NOT lost. We still have options: some pretty great ones too!
My recommendation is to shop on Adagio. I first discovered Adagio about a year ago. I ordered their Premium Dragonwell Green Tea after my tea from China ran out.
I bought their largest size (16 ounces) and it lasted me one whole year. I made the tea often too! Almost every day. Excellent quality, freshness, and taste for the price.
For committed tea drinkers and ex-Teavana customers, Adagio is offering a VERY nice gesture to help ease the transition. If you e-mail them a copy of your Teavana receipt from October 31 or earlier along with your mailing address at [email protected] they will send you a FREE sampler set with 5 of their newest blends made with Teavana customers in mind. Many of their NEW blends are wonderful replacements for the most popular Teavana teas that we’re now parting from! I was especially excited to see they’ve now introduced their own version of a Samurai Mate and White Ayurvedic Chai. These were two Teavana staples you would often find at the entrance of their stores for shoppers to sample.
For a list of Adagio’s comparable teas, visit this page: [Revision December 2022 – this page on Adagio’s website is no longer available.]
I did not know that Starbucks owned Teavana. I have one been to 1-2 when I have been out of town. None close by to me at all.
Yes, they do! Starbucks bought them out a couple of years back. It was around that same time Starbucks began offering fancier tea options on their menu. Teavana stores are few and far between but there are 2 close to where I live. Teavana teas were my go-to gift request for holiday and my birthday. Guess I’ll be asking for something else now. *shrug*
I really feel you on tea being this “hidden gem” like you put it, in the U.S. Good loose-leaf tea isn’t common in the mainstream…yet it’s cheap, easy to get into, and incredibly enjoyable. I come from a family of tea drinkers so I sort of take it for granted, but for large segments of America, tea isn’t really a thing…they just know the lipton tea bags and maybe a few of the mainstream tea bag brands that you can get in the supermarket, flavored teas and herbal blends, which can be enjoyable…but they’re pretty far from the sort of tea I ended up getting really into.
I don’t know if you know about it, but I run RateTea, a social review site for tea drinkers, and I’m hoping to use it to spark a greater interest in tea in society as a whole.
I like that you are highlighting Adagio here! I like Adagio a lot better than Teavana, and I am hoping that the Teavana closure will help Adagio. Both Teavana and Adagio are companies that I think get a lot of people into tea, but I think there’s something a bit more wholesome about Adagio.
I think people may exaggerate how much cheaper they are (in my opinion Teavana wasn’t that much more expensive, for similar teas), but I still prefer the company for a range of other reasons. They have much more straightforward / honest marketing, for one. Teavana’s online marketing was kind of flowery and exaggerated, sometimes pushing the boundaries of truth (exaggerated health claims, sometimes saying misleading things about the caffeine content of various types of teas), and, although not all locations were like this, in some stores the sales could be outright pushy or aggressive. To my knowledge, Adagio has never done anything like this.
I think Adagio is a good all-around company for people who like tea but aren’t sure exactly what they’re looking for, or want to be able to explore a lot of different types of tea from a single company. I love pure teas, and they have some interesting single-origin teas, but they have a lot of flavored teas and blends too.
There are also lots of other great companies out there too, including both ones based in the U.S., and ones based in areas of tea production that have reasonable international shipping (which seems to get a bit easier and cheaper with each passing year).
What a wonderfully insightful comment! You’re spot on, my new friend. Adagio is very honest and straightforward about their tea products. I just love their online store format. You can see the teas, read about their origin and benefits, prices are reasonable, and Adagio always has a ton of rewards and extras! I find their shopping experience to be extraordinarily fun! Did you know you could even place a temporarily BAN to stop yourself from buying teas from them? I’m guilty – I order so many samples! Haha. In fact, I suspect Adagio will grow exponentially now that Teavana has closed. I looked into investing into their brand but it appears they are privately owned. Adagio is very affordable and has a terrific selection. I love it. I’ll certainly follow the blog of a fellow tea lover. If you have recommendations, I LOVE trying new teas and would be so happy to hear them. Both for tea types and alternative sellers. I have a few other tea posts in the works at the moment!