The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.
– William B. Yeats
Tea is tasty but not trendy! It is doubtful that this beverage will ever captivate the senses and wallets of Americans in the same way that coffee has during this century. That being said, the ubiquitous Starbucks chain would like to change all of that by opening their first tea bar today in New York City called Teavana. While I was skeptical of this concept at first, their open house last night convinced me, at the very least, to open my mind and attempt to embrace their passion for tea.
Teavana tea bar
1142 Madison Avenue (between 84th and 85th Street)
New York, NY
4 stars out of 5 stars
My first question after reading about this new concept was: why do we need a separate establishment for tea when I can already buy it at my local Starbucks? In short, I found that this company possesses a huge passion for tea, which seems to go far beyond the selection of flavors at their coffeehouses. Take, for example, the over one hundred varieties of loose leaf and bags of tea which are available for purchase at their first location of Teavana. In addition, I was blown away by their sparkling iced teas, with tantalizing names and descriptions that are even more delicious.
It was nearly impossible to select only one drink to try last night. After much deliberation, I chose to sample the sparkling silver needle iced tea. As I was told by my passionate “teaologist”, (who apparently is the barista of the tea universe):
silver needle tea
is made from aromatic jasmine flowers, and it takes an entire day to simply harvest one pound of this tea. I pictured the line of sparkling teas to be iced beverages containing either seltzer or some kind of soda. Instead, Teavana uses a machine to carbonate their tea, which is a brilliant idea.
It is difficult to describe my first sip of this concoction. The word that popped into my mind was flowery. The sparkling silver needle iced tea was slightly sweet; the bubbles and new notes of this flavor overwhelmed my taste buds in a sensational way! I cannot wait to return to try Teavana’s other two flavors of sparkling tea as well as their “tea lattes.”
I thoroughly enjoyed trying out Teavana for the first time and recommend any fan of tea do the same. Yes, items here are fairly pricy, and I am still not sure if tea will ever become trendy in the United States. Nevertheless, I truly understand why the CEO of Starbucks chose to open a tea bar, and I will definitely be back to taste more of Teavana’s selections!