The loss of Teavana (still not over it Starbucks) left a huge hole in the tea fan world. When I realized that the website had been completely shut down I started my search for a new place to supply my tea habit. A quick Google search put two sites in the forefront immediately. They are Adagio Teas and DAVIDs Tea. At first glance I naturally gravitated toward DAVIDs. Meanwhile my coworker went for Adagio. Here’s a run down of what I thought and who may be the superior company.
The first thing I noticed when pulling up their website is that they offer Ebates! For me, that’s a huge plus. The next thing I noticed was that it reminded me of the old Teavana site. You know, the one before Starbucks took over. It’s simple and straight forward to use. They offer a wide variety of teas plus blends, samplers, gifts, teaware, and what they call pantry items.
Overall there are a lot of different teas available, including seasonal ones. There are even teas that are only available during certain phases of the moon. They also offer tea bag options for those that don’t care for loose leaf tea. One of the best things though is they have a Teavana “dupe” list for finding your old favorites. The packaging is very simple in a plain white and brown pouch. Most teas come in four options, a sample size, 3oz, 16oz, or teabags.
There are only three stores total and they are all located in Illinois. It is a little disappointing considering I loved going into the Teavana store but maybe they can grow in the future.
Shipping is super fast and many times same day. The two times I’ve ordered I’ve had no problems.
Yummy treat! Here is a $5 gift certificate to Adagio Teas: 2242586348. Expires in 24 hours. http://www.adagio.com
Outside of the tea selection itself I was a little disappointed with the teaware options. While they do offer a selection I feel like they are too simple. The colorway options available are very basic. As for the tins, this was the biggest disappointment. I really enjoyed all the fun designs that Teavana offered for tins and was let down to see that this wasn’t going to be the case with Adagio. They have one tin that comes in two different sizes with only five color options. It was interesting to see that they have clear lids so you can see the tea inside. However, I don’t think that makes up for how overall boring they seem. They do offer glass jars as well, but again there’s nothing fun about them.
Food & Gifts
The pantry section that offers sweeteners, cookies, and spices is also a little on the light side. However, I did try the bourbon infused honey and it’s delicious. I actually have to keep it hidden at work so people don’t use it all up. Available are rock sugar, three types of honey, four types of cookies, tea mints, and a variety of spices.
They do offer a wide variety of gifts and sampler options as well as scheduled delivery. Two really amazing things I noticed were the corporate gifts and wedding favor options. These are really neat ideas! There’s tea of the month clubs as well.
Their Frequent Cups points system to earn free gift certificates is awesome. When you first sign up they give you lots of little ways to earn a few points here an there. As you order more, new offers become available. Not only do you get points for purchases but you earn them for writing reviews and other things that I’ll mention in the blends overview. There’s also a referral system that gifts your friends a $5 coupon and earns you points. They can be redeemed for gift certificates to apply to orders once you reach 100 points. You aren’t locked into only using them on tea.
Now lets discuss, what I believe to be, the best part of Adagio. The blends section. First and foremost, you can create your own blends and order them in three different sizes. They come in a sample tin, a 3oz pouch, or a 5oz tin. When you create a blend you get to pick artwork for it and can even make it public to share. If you make them public then you can earn points if someone purchases your blend. You can also choose to give your points to charity instead.
Blends can live within fandoms if you’re inspired to make them. We currently have a Witch’s Brew fandom based on our Witch Series playlists. There are tons of fandoms that you can search through and even join! Some fandom blends are also “shipped” or paired with another blend. Purchasing both gives you a small discount. You can find more on our own fandom blends here.
I could probably cover a lot more but I’ll stop for now.
Where to begin with DAVIDs Tea? Well the first thing is that they don’t offer Ebates. As an avid Ebates user this was a big negative right off the bat for me. The website is very modern and clean looking, reminding me of the Teavana post Starbucks buyout site. It’s colorful and has a lot to offer right off.
Overall I feel like they offer about the same amount of teas as Adagio does. This includes seasonal, sachets (tea bags), and samplers. Unlike them, however, there are a lot of different size options to select from when ordering.
Location wise they do have quite a large number of stores, however they are concentrated in Canada and around the border. There are a few in California and one down in Florida. It would be nice to see them expand to more locations across the US.
When I made my purchase online it seemed to ship quickly however I was not given proper shipping info. I was unable to track my order and contacted customer service to ask why it said that my order was still waiting to be shipped. By the time I got a response later that day my order had actually arrived.
This is where the biggest difference is between the two companies. There are many options with different colorways for each. That also includes fun seasonal designs on mugs, tumblers, tins, tea presses, and even tea spoons. There are standard ones available but the seasonal designs for most of their products really helps them stand out in this department. Especially when you can have matching mugs, tins, and spoons. Some might find it unnecessary but as someone with an art background I appreciate it and I know younger generations will as well. There are also tins made for specific teas that you can refill when you’re out. This is also similar to Teavana.
Food & Gifts
DAVIDs offers tea-infused treats. So far none of them have caught my interest like the cookies on Adagio’s site have. However they do have more options, including gummies, chocolate, and chocolate covered nuts. For sweeteners there are four flavored bottles of agave and a jar of rock sugar. There are also tea soups available that I’m interested in trying.
The gift sets available really knock it out of the park. They have super cute packaging and some come with fun accessories. There are also tea-infused lip butters available which seem a little outside of what they should be carrying but it is intriguing. The gift sets seem to rotate based on the time of year as the two I purchased are no longer available.
The Frequent Steeper rewards program for me is pretty lack luster. When I first signed up and ordered it seemed that it was focused on in store rewards like a free cup of tea. Since their store options in the United State are limited it was something I would never be able to redeem. Since then it does look like they have an option for redeeming online. However, you can only redeem points for a 2oz bag of tea and it takes 300 points to get there. You can only earn points on purchases. It’s good but a little disappointing you can’t use it like a coupon for whatever you’d like. It also seems a little over complicated with rolling points over time periods. There is also no referral program.
Note: I could be remembering this incorrectly as they do offer a free cup on your birthday.
They do offer pre-made blends but there isn’t an option to create your own.
[table id=2 /]
Over all, I think both companies have different things going for them. They both serve to fill the void that Teavana left in different ways. If you’re a simple and straightforward tea lover then Adagio is probably the way to go. They have a tea community driven vibe where the tea really is the star of the show. If you love the fun tins and accessories that go along with loose leaf tea then DAVIDs is more to your style. There are a lot of seasonal accessories that I’ve been tempted to buy (that I really don’t need) because of that limited edition feel to them. However, if you’re like me you will probably use both companies to get that tea fix.