Teavana loose leaf teas are an incredible taste sensation and available in a wide variety of flavors. Teavana sells red, white, green, flavored green, herbal, oolong, and flavored and scented black teas. Teavana white tea, which is detoxifying and contains even more antioxidants than green tea, comes in several flavors including Precious White Peach, Pear Luna, and Scarlet Cloud. Teavana’s green tea selection is just as exotic. It includes Dragonwell, Rose of Suzhou, and Gyokuro Imperial. The Rooibos, or red tea, varieties that Teavana sells come in many flavors including Rooibos Chai, Rooibos Key Lime, Rooibos Peach, Rooibos Tropica, and Rooibos Rum Mocha. The herbal infusions come in Azteca Fire, Banana Calypso, Pina Colada, Peppermint, Plum Harvest, and Very Berry. The complex and exotic blends Teavana sells are amazing. For example, the following ingredients are contained in the Very Berry: hibiscus blossoms, elderberries, grapes, bilberries, and citrus peel. Teavana teas sell for between $4 and $18 per 2 ounces! Teavana also recommends purchasing their tins in order to keep tea fresh for up to a year or more. The tins range in price from $2.99 to $6.00, so they are definitely an added expense to an already luxury item. Trader Joe’s teas are competitively priced and rival brands sold at upscale grocery stores.
Trader Joe’s also has a large selection of green, herbal, white, and red teas. Two of my favorite Trader Joe’s teas are Spiced Chai and Pomegranate White tea, both of which I always keep stocked. Trader Joe’s teas are only available at Trader Joe’s stores, and there are not that many stores nationwide. Teavana stores are typically located in urban or tourist areas. If you are lucky enough to have a Teavana store nearby or you encounter one while traveling, it is a must-see for any tea lover. In addition to the samples Teavana serves daily, there is a small tea bar that sells individual-sized servings of their products. Teavana products are available globally as they have a website. Teavana also has a Tea of the Month Club which is great for gift-giving or also beneficial for new customers to sample many varieties. The club is $120 for 6 months and $220 for 12 months. Each month recipients will receive 2 oz each of 3 tea varieties, one variety from each of the following tea collections: Asian Treasures, EuroStyle, and Herbal Infusions.
Teavana teas are somewhat more time consuming to prepare. Teavana teas are all loose leaf. A fine mesh strainer is needed in order to properly strain tea after it has steeped. Trader Joe’s offers many varieties of tea also, and the main advantage is that they are much easier to prepare. Like traditional supermarket tea, you simply place a tea bag in a cup of boiling water and allow it to steep for the recommended time. This is especially helpful for me on busy mornings when I typically just use the hot water from my water cooler and don’t even bother boiling water on the stove. Both Teavana and Trader Joe’s teas are delicious warm or iced.
The main advantage of the Trader Joe’s teas is that they are easy to prepare (and cheaper). If you crave a slightly more exotic taste though, Teavana teas are definitely the better choice. Trader Joe’s teas are available in such a wide variety of flavors, that you are sure to find at least a few flavors appealing. Teavana, though, clearly has more varieties available. My favorite Teavana teas that I keep stocked in my pantry at all times are Strawberry Kiwi (an herbal infusion) mixed with Rooibos Peach (a red tea with more antioxidants than green tea) and Very Berry (another herbal infusion) mixed with Rooibos Orange. I also purchase Earl Grey a few times a year since I use it to make Earl Grey tea truffles.
If you have the time and patience to wait for a freshly brewed cup of tea, Teavana is the best choice. If you like the ease and convenience of using tea bags and have no desire to fuss with loose leaf tea, Trader Joe’s teas are a close second. Both brands, though, are great choices for tea lovers. Teavana’s loose leaf teas can be used when time permits or for entertaining or gift giving, and Trader Joe’s traditional tea bags can be used for busy days and office breaks. Coffee lovers have their flavored coffee and espresso, tea lovers have Teavana (and Trader Joe’s).