Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Tea Tuesday: Fava Tea Company

I've been on the hunt for local and online places to purchase tea as of late. I felt like I got into a bit of a Teavana rut just because it was a shop that I passed by so often. I was longing to explore other options. I was very, very pleased when I noticed a place called Fava Tea Company just outside the mall that I frequent.

I did some research before I stopped in and found out they're a local company with two locations in Wisconsin, one of which is actually back in my hometown so I'll be sure to stop by that shop next time I'm visiting my family.
The first thing I noticed about Fava was the size of the store. I didn't feel at all like I was going to knock something over if I turned around too quickly like I often do in Teavana. There were maybe four or five other customers in the store when I stopped by, and there was more than enough space for all of us to explore.

The walls of the store are lined with canisters containing the various teas, each with a smaller tin so you can take a closer look before purchasing. There were also several teas ready brewed for sampling scattered across the store. The selection of tea is huge, but to help keep track of what you like there are little menus available to mark down the quantity of which teas you want to purchase while you browse.
The second thing I noticed was the sense of independence while looking around. A huge selling point with me at any store is my ability to peruse without a sales person hovering over my shoulder, making suggestions or pushing products I don't want. I've been known to avoid going to certain stores just because I've had experiences where I felt  smothered by the employees.

The sales people who were working at Fava when I stopped by managed to perfectly walk the line between helpful and hands-off. I was greeted, asked if I had any questions and then left to freely take a look at whatever caught my fancy. That's exactly how I like it.
After a good twenty minutes in the store, I was starting to feel a little overwhelmed by the selection. To be honest, I wanted to try one of everything. Thankfully, I noticed a sign on the counter that they were offering sample gift sets for (I think) $26. The set came with one ounce of six different teas, and I decided that would be a good way to get an introductory feel for their offerings. I purchased the box, along with one other flavor.

I couldn't wait to get home, I ended up trying them all within a two-day span. The only one not pictured below is one that came with the gift set called Raspberry Patch -- because I drank it all!

1. Fava's Winter Blend: This one actually ended up being one of my favorites. It's a black tea, and the flavor reminds me of the Holidays. It's seasonal, so I hope I can get another bag before it's gone.
2. Spice Pear: This is the one that I purchased on my own outside the gift set, I'm glad I did too because it's tied for my favorite. Of course, both of the one's I liked best are seasonal, boo. It's another black tea and the flavor is very unique and not overwhelmingly fruity.
3. Lemon Meringue: I was surprised that I liked this one. It's a rooibos, so it's low in caffeine and I have a tendency to drink tea before bed so that's definitely a feature I can appreciate. The flavor is fresh and like the Spice Pear, slightly fruity.
4. Moluccas Spice: I'm on the fence about this one. I don't love it, but I don't hate it either. This is another rooibos. It has a very heavy scent and flavor.
5. Almond Cookie: Not quite as sweet as you'd expect from the name. Another black tea. It smells heavenly, but the taste is more subtle.
6. Nutcracker Sweet: This one was my least favorite. It smells nice, and I tend to like nutty flavors so I thought I'd enjoy it. And to be honest, the initial flavor is alright but it leaves a weird aftertaste in my mouth. This is an oolong.
7. Raspberry Patch: (Not pictured) I drank all of this one so I wasn't able to take a photo, which is a shame because it was gorgeous. I tried this one last, because I'm not usually a fan of very fruity tea and I assumed going in I wasn't going to like it. I was really surprised when I took my first sip and actually really enjoyed it. It's definitely better iced in my opinion, I made an entire pot of it for me and my boyfriend and used it all up but it's definitely on my re-buy list. I'm sure it would be especially amazing in the Summer.

Overall, my experience at Fava Tea Company and with their products has been a positive one. I can't wait to go back to Appleton to pick up more of my favorites and try new tea as well. Even though there were a few in the sample pack I wasn't crazy about, I was able to try some that I ended up really enjoying and probably wouldn't have picked out on my own.

Even if you're no where near the Fox Valley or Milwaukee area, they have an online shop that you can check out as well!

I love finding and supporting locally owned businesses, if you know of any local tea shops in your area I can order from please leave them in the comments!









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