Wrote back in January that Teavana, a specialty tea shop owned by Starbucks, was slated to open at 2261 Broadway (corner of 81st, in the former Vitamin Shoppe space).
The store officially kicked off business over the weekend and, true to its name, really does to appear to be nirvana for tea drinkers.
I live nearby and stopped in yesterday to look around. As a tea drinker myself, I was pretty impressed.
Teavana sells all sorts of teas that you wouldn’t normally find elsewhere. To further add to the variety, they can do custom blends of any of their offerings — a fact that nearly made my head explode when I started to think of the ridiculous number of combinations that might yield.
The store provides free samples every day. I can’t remember what specifically I drank yesterday, but I tried two and both were FANTASTIC! I believe they were each some combination of multiple leaves with a bit of some gourmet-esque flavored sugar mixed in.
Unfortunately, an employee told me that the samples are only expected to change seasonally, so there’s only so much variety you can expect on a daily basis. Still, I like the fact that you can try before you buy, and the samples appear to be combinations that the average person would never contemplate on their own.
Exact store hours are currently a work in progress as management tries to “learn the neighborhood.”
They’ve been open as late as 10 pm during the week, but it seems that may eventually change to 9 pm. Similarly, while they didn’t close until around 11 pm this past Saturday, future Saturdays may be closer to 10 pm. They expect to close at 8 pm on Sundays, and they open at 7 am every day.
In addition to selling tea (and tea related products, like fancy kettles, etc.), you can also purchase cups of both hot and iced tea — they’ll brew literally anything for you.
To be honest, there appear to be so many choices that the decision-making process seems daunting.
While Teavana is owned by Starbucks, the store is set up in a completely different manner. It is NOT a cafe — there are no chairs or tables. You go in to shop or buy a beverage, not pop open a laptop or the newspaper.
When I stopped by yesterday, the store was packed — I had to wait for a throng of people drinking samples in front to move so I could get a clearer photo. I heard nothing but rave comments from everyone sampling teas and perusing the store.
Looks like this will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.
Here’s a link to their website — if you have specific questions, you can reach the UWS store at (212) 799-0724.
Moving across the street from Teavana to the east side of Broadway…
Mentioned about five weeks ago that Laytner’s Linen & Home was consolidating it’s rather large UWS store into a smaller space (2270 Broadway, between 81st & 82nd).
As you can see from the photo below, that process is just about complete. The store is now about half its previous size.
No word yet on what might move in. The space is adjacent to the vacant storefront that used to house Verizon Wireless before it moved to the former H&H Bagels space at Broadway & 80th back in November, so that block now has two rather large empty stores.
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Tags: 2261 Broadway, 2270 Broadway, black tea, Closing, gourmet tea, green tea, iced tea, Laytner's, Laytner's Linen & Home, mate, New York City, NYC, Opening, Starbucks, Tea, tea samples, Teavana, Upper West Side, UWS, white tea