I’ve been here twice now, and the staff are super friendly. They give you free samples of things you want to taste. The store is also well laid out, and you can easily browse and grab tea bags, loose leaf, or boxes of teas you want to try.
I’m also a science-fiction and fantasy nerd, and they have a bunch of fun “fandom” blends, inspired by popular TV shows and video games. I never expected to have two of my interests—SF&F and tea—overlap like this, and I took great joy in trying some of the tea blends for “characters”. The saleswoman who assisted me confided that they have a lot of fun seeing which characters taste well blended together—which is too freaking cute. It’s kind of like celebrating and poking fun at shipping wars all in one. (I admit I picked up a “Sera” one, inspired by the character in Dragon Age. I also tasted “Dorian” and “Fenris”. ~_o )
But if you think that’s silly, rest assured that the rest of the store but that one corner has normal, non-fandom-inspired teas. :) I like the Thai Chai.
I’ve been to one of the physical stores in Chicago. Nice staff, nice selection of teas, and it’s nice not having to pay shipping! They also discount their seasonal teas (ie, fall teas are discounted in winter, winter teas are discounted at the end of winter/start of spring) so you can pick up some things cheap to try in that manner.
Only downside is occasionally it’s hard to find a price, but you can just ask. It’s a small store so they’re standing right there next to you behind the counter. Salesfolk are friendly, even to me and I came by during a severe cold spell bundled up and looking kind of ragged.
This is an awesome tea shop. You can browse and buy teas and accessories if you want…OR You can come with a friend, sit and have a cup of tea, and chat (like I did—my friend brought me here!). It has a bunch of little tables like a cafe, but a tea selection like a tea shop. It’s a nice hybrid of the two types of stores!