If your morning isn’t complete without a few blissful sips of Beach Bellini or a steaming cup of Golden Monkey, you might want to sit down for this news: Your favorite Teavana stores are closing. According to The Seattle Times, Starbucks has decided to close all 379 Teavana stores in the next year. The reason is purely financial: Teavana just doesn’t make money. And with an average of one Starbucks store-or more-opening every single day, the company really doesn’t need the business. (Though we think our cold brew is better…)
Teavana stores, you will be missed. There’s something special about those crowded little closets of tea, packed with countless flavors and smelling of fruits and spices. Feeling nostalgic already? Us too. Here’s what we’re going to miss the most.
1. FREE SAMPLES!
You don’t have to like Teavana-or tea in general-to be a fan of the free samples. In malls across the country, Teavana employees are known for distributing tiny cups of popular flavors to lure in customers. Even though the store has been known to brew its samples stronger than it would advise a customer to do, there’s no denying that it’s a pit stop in most mall crawls, even for non-tea drinkers. Honestly, who would turn down free chai oolong?
What a travesty-looks as though we’re going to have to make our own chai mix at home!
2. Unique Flavors
Over the years, Teavana has become famous for having some truly unique flavor combinations. Some of the most popular are Beach Bellini, raspberry limeade and Golden Monkey. The chain also sells a variety of rock sugars to enjoy with your beverage, any hipster’s favorite alternative to Sweet’N Low. (Psst: you know you’re from California if you’ve eaten these foods.)
3. The Famous “Blooming Tea”
Even though you can buy it other places, Teavana is also known for blooming or flowering tea. What’s that? It’s a hand-tied tea ball that uncurls as tea steeps, leading to a flower formation after three minutes-and an attractive end result for your Instagram. We’ll drown our sorrows in a fruity mocktail…
4. Pretty Packaging
Whether it was Mother’s Day, Teacher Appreciation Day or just someone’s birthday, Teavana has been the perfect place to pick up a pretty patterned tea tin. Like the selection at parent company Starbucks, the attractive designs, bright colors and elegant packaging are ideal for any present-wrapping endeavors. Plus, its variety of fancy infusers, mugs and tumblers became adorable offerings for tea-loving friends and family members. Looks like we’re going to have to be more creative about gift-giving now.
5. People Who Really Know Their Tea-and we mean Really!
It’s not so rare to find someone who can name countries that export coffee beans and tell you how many shots of espresso go in a latte, but finding a tea expert is slightly harder. Sometimes you’ll even hear baristas refer to a drink as a chai tea latte-as if “chai” doesn’t literally mean “tea” in Chinese and Hindi! Sigh. At Teavana, it was nice to talk to people who specialized in just tea-the various flavors, steeping methods and price points. We’ll miss you, Teavana gurus!
If you’re as upset about this news as we are, there is hope: The brand isn’t going away completely. You can still buy tins of your favorite flavors online or in Starbucks stores…and you still have a few more months to swig samples and sniff the tea leaves.