Tea is the universal beverage. It’s been around for thousands of years and consumed around the world. The variety of teas is delightfully staggering, each one with its own distinctive qualities and health benefits. Not unlike knowing fine wine, understanding tea is an art. And it’s one that Teavana — the new tea emporium opening next month in The Gardens on El Paseo — has perfected.
The Teavana dream originated with the idea that people would enjoy fresh, high-quality tea in a place that was part tea bar, part tea shop, and part tea encyclopedia. The result is a retail experience where customers can order and sample a variety of different teas, and then purchase fine loose leaf tea and tea-related merchandise, such as tea pots, gifts, and accessories. With more than 100 varieties of tea available, the emporium is a feast for the senses and features a knowledgeable staff that not only educates customers on the healthy benefits of tea, but also demonstrates the best ways to make and serve the stuff. In addition, the company donates 1 percent of profits to CARE International to help improve the lives of those who live in tea-producing areas through education, access to safe water, and greater economic opportunities.
Opening their first store in 1997 in Atlanta, Georgia. Teavana quickly expanded and today boasts more than 100 tea emporiums throughout North American. Their new store at The Gardens on El Paseo is Teavana’s first location in this region.
The grand opening in Palm Desert on August 12th will feature complimentary tea samples throughout the store. From the relaxing blend of Jasmine Dragon Phoenix Pearls and Rooibos Tropica, to the energizing marriage of Samurai Mate Chai and White Ayurvedic Chai, it’s a great way to get a feel for the 100-plus rare and delightful teas that Teavana offers. There will also be discounts on volume teas. Buy one pound or more and save up to 20 percent!
A Newbie’s Guide to Loose Leaf Tea
If you are new to tea, the first thing you may be thinking is why bother with loose leaf tea when tea bags are more convenient? Loose teas are usually higher quality than tea bags, and taste alone is often reason enough to drink loose leaf teas.
When it comes to types of tea there are many to consider, from white and green tea to black teas. A tea blended with fruits is a good place to start. Dried fruits like strawberries and blueberries can add extra vitamins to tea. Some beginner tea drinkers may like the taste (and smell) of flowers in their tea. Flowers like jasmine, lavender, and roses can really enhance the experience of drinking tea by adding a full and fragrant aroma.
You can also approach selecting teas by the type of tea. Consider loose leaf black teas if you regularly drink bagged tea. Familiar black teas like Earl Grey and English breakfast are available in loose leaf format.
If you don’t want the bold flavor of a black tea, white teas have a much lighter and subtler flavor. Great starter white teas include Frutto Bianco Pearls White tea and White Ayurvedic Chai Tea. A great thing about white teas, aside from the high amount of antioxidants, is the low level of caffeine; many loose leaf white teas have less caffeine than decaffeinated coffee.
It is important to note also that the water temperature and steep time will affect how your tea will taste. For example, boiling water is too hot for white and green teas and will make them taste bitter. Letting the tea leaves sit for too long in water can also make your tea taste bitter or harsh.
After you have acquired a taste for loose teas, you may want to experiment with different flavor combinations of tea blends. Or, if you developed a preference for a particular type of tea, like green tea, you may want to try a straight, unflavored tea, such as Dragonwell green tea. Soon you may find that brewing loose tea in a ceramic or cast iron teapot can affect how your tea tastes.
Teavana Fine Tea Emporium
73545 El Paseo
The Gardens on El Paseo
Palm Desert, CA 92260
The Gardens on El Paseo
The Gardens on El Paseo is located in Palm Desert on El Paseo between Larkspur Lane and San Pablo Avenue, a quarter mile south of Highway 111 and five miles south of Interstate 10. Anchored by Saks Fifth Avenue, The Gardens on El Paseo features a mix of retailers and restaurants targeting the upscale residents and visitors of the area. In addition to Saks Fifth Avenue, the center is also home to a two-level Tommy Bahama store/restaurant and three additional feature restaurants — Sullivan’s Steakhouse, Pacifica Seafood Restaurant and Sammy’s Woodfired Pizza. Retailers include Tiffany & Co., Cole Haan, Coach, L’Occitane, J. Crew, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Brooks Brothers, Cache, Ann Taylor, Ann Taylor Loft, Talbots, Talbots Petites, Talbots Woman, Oilily, Banana Republic, Origins, Quiksilver, J. Jill, and now Teavana.
For more information on Teavana visit www.teavana.com. For The Gardens on El Paseo visit thegardensonelpaseo.com.