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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UFL chapter.

My love for tea began very early in my life. It mainly grew out of habit. Growing up, my grandma always served us a pot of green tea along with our food at dinner time. In order for the tea leaves to not be wasted, throughout the rest of the night, we would continue to boil hot water and pour ourselves more cups of tea. Sometimes my parents take me to dim sum restaurants, where tea is also constantly being served. The types of tea we sip on at dim sum restaurants are a bit different from home. At the restaurants, we like to drink either a lightly flavored and aromatic oolong tea or the dark colored and smooth-tasting pu’er tea. Whether it’s green or pu’er tea, I enjoy drinking tea as it is part of my daily routine.

When I discovered Teavana, it was the summer of 2010 and I was walking around the mall with my mom. A Teavana employee greeted us and gave out samples of a tea that was light orange in color and smelled fruity. This was an interesting tea that I’ve never seen before, so I asked the employee what it was. Wild orange blossom. Since tasting the delicious and unique citrus and floral blend, I was hooked on trying the rest of the teas that Teavana had to offer. At Teavana, I was introduced to a wide and diverse range of loose-leaf and herbal infusion teas. The store feels like a Toys “R” Us for tea lovers like myself. Since then, I would always go to the store whenever I went to the mall to try their samples and pick up a bag of tea.

A few days ago, I came across this sign at the Teavana store in Oaks Mall.

No longer was the store filled with its usual teapots, infusers, free tea samples, and pleasant fruity aroma. Only big red “SALE” signs flashed across the store and a few bags of tea remained on the shelf tops. I could not believe what I was seeing. As an avid tea drinker who drinks Teavana tea almost every day, particularly the wild orange blossom flavor, I was disappointed to hear the news of the Starbucks-owned Teavana brand closing down all 379 of its storefronts by the end of January. Starbucks announced its decision to close all Teavana stores in July 2017.

Even though Starbucks bought the chain store for $620 million in 2012, Teavana’s apparent “underperformance” in its mall stores in recent years has made it difficult for the brand to continue. According to Fortune, it’s also been tough in the market for the company, as Teavana competes with rivals like McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts. Even creative efforts did not work to benefit the brand. In a press release, a Starbucks official said, “The company concluded that despite efforts to reverse the trend through creative merchandising and new store designs, the underperformance was likely to continue.”

Since Teavana’s closing, I wondered about what other places I could go to to purchase tea. I am considering online tea shops like Verdant Tea and Ecocha. These shops also sell quality teas, but they work to benefit tea farmers in China and Taiwan. On Verdant Tea’s website, a variety of teas, including black, green, oolong, pu’er, white and herbal, are sold. Ecocha is a Taiwan-based company that sells a diverse range of Taiwanese oolongs and black teas.

Teavana will always hold a special place in my heart, but I hope to look into other tea shops and discover one that sells equally delicious, natural, and artisan teas.