Tea shopping with no sympathy

Everybody wants to provide good customer service, but sometimes overattentive and know-it-all salespeople can be annoying. Blogger Michael DiMarco (aka The Essential Bastard) has some harsh words for teas retailer Teavana.

The last thing I need when purchasing tea is a bunch of overeager salespeople on my back trying to upsell their expensive kettles and micro infusers. If Earl Grey is the stated goal, any attempts at shoving a jasmine oolong down my throat for twice the cost is an exercise in futility, not to mention curious pretention.

This is, after all, a tea emporium, not a used car lot. Yet still I struggle with imperious salespeople, descending on me like a swarm of malaria-carrying mosquitoes in some equatorial backwater.

The fact is, I don’t care what kind of herbal root extract is in this tea you’re trying to push on me, or how it was harvested and fertilized. I just want what I came in for — which does not include a nonoxidized Silver Tip or a Darjeeling that requires a Swiss Bank tap with each sip.

And what happened to the customer always being right? How dare you impose $14 tea storage tins upon your shoppers, then chide me with a lecture on leaf wilting when I gently request bagged tea.

The tea will age fine in sealed bags. It’s not going to be stockpiled in a bomb shelter for sustenance 50 years forward. Enough already!

Maybe this is why I prefer coffee.


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