Teavana Neighborhood store: Hit or Miss?

    Since Teavana acquired Teaopia there was talk about this Great Neighborhood store. I learned some ideas at head office in April, but kept quiet till now for legal reasons.
 Now I can talk! It opens tomorrow in the East end of Manhattan. Crested with gold and it combines the ideas of not only Teavana and Starbucks, but the concept of the Tazo tea shop.
   I learned a few weeks ago that the Tazo stores were closing down to become this. Originally I had thought that all the Teavana stores were to become Tazo, I was wrong. In the end they came up with this beautiful concept which melds them all together. It is a great work of art.
   The store combines the Teavana Mall concept with the cafe or bistro like concept. The foods are beyond what I expected, the colours and ingredients are fantastic.  It also looks like Starbucks changed the colour of the cups for Teavana. Design wise it works better for their whole family, the white with the logo. Classic Starbucks design.

    In time I can see this fusion of Tea store and cafe popping up more in the tea world. While the smaller stores are possibly in panic, I feel that this addition to the tea world will do everyone some good.  The concept is fantastic, I have pointed out how in awe I am of the shop. My question is can Teavana still give provide the essence of tea? For myself the essence is the history, culture and the almost religions aspect that comes with it. What am I getting at?
   The staff are given a condensed version of information on tea, in the form of a thick almost two inch handbook, but only on the first few centimeters.. or millimeters of that. Tea is more than just a leisure drink. There is a connection between history, arts and culture that stems from tea itself.

   The book written by Kakuzo Okakura, even points out this connection throughout his book. One main line that sticks is ” When will the West understand, or try to understand, the East?”. If we continue to try to find a Western way to enjoy tea, can we really understand it in the end?
    One part of this new store that was on the idea list was to have a High End Cast Iron pot. It would be for purchase but would it be enamel lined? The original use for cast iron pots was to use it as a kettle, this can be seen in Japanese Tea Ceremony today.
  I feel that the one thing that Teavana and Starbucks can do right now, is offer special classes or even properly educate their staff on tea this would get them on the right track. As, Gyokuro is NOT used to make Matcha (Here is a post on how it IS made).

All images from http://news.starbucks.com/news/teavana-fine-teas-tea-bar-debuts-in-new-york-citys-upper-east-side

Back from New York

Glad to be back. Although I miss being able to go to any shop to get a sandwich late at night and cheep flowers (didn’t buy any but wish I did). Really tired and I want to go out to try my new cigars I got at the duty free shop. Bought Lou Lou while walking back from the Porter shuttle. Putting on Sex and the City for an hour before doing work for tomorrows class.
Got to see Chairlift play, saw the Tim Burton Show at the MOMA , walked down 6th ave and stayed just off of 8th. Who can ask for more?
Off for a smoke

Final schedule for first semester

After complaining to myself about not haveing time to A: relax B: go to galleries C: go to the refrence library and D: go for my usual long walks which comprise of gallery hopping, I finnally planned out when and where I will be for most of the week.
Sunday is pretty much a day I can choose what to do and Saturday I have time to go for a nice long walk or even go home for lunch then go for a walk.
Tomorrow and Thursday are subject to change but this is my general plan right now.
Trying to save money on food by making it at home as opposed to buying it will help me save money for the New York Trip in the new year. Anyhow, I am going to eat and make a cup of Puerh tea from my Toucha (need to chip a piece off since it’s a tea cake)

Looking at past work

Well I put everything out and looked at it today. I picked out six that will be shown to my faculty advisior, which ever of the two I end up haveing. It is supriseing how much get’s done in such a short time.
I’m kind of hitting a block recently but seeing all of this helped. I am going to do some excesises tonight that Cathy Daley taught me last year. One being writing down everything that comes to mind, riping it up and throwing it out- Purgeing the mind. The other is doing a short drawing per minute for like 15-30 minutes. Then there’s also picking a word and doing drawings related to that. We will see what happens.
I’m currently doing laundry and trying to decide what I believe that Post-Modernism is, for a small 250 word opinion peice. Although I’m trying to think of how to word my Thesis proposal and what I am going to do.
I warned my parents of the NYC trip at the end of October (Oct 29-Nov 1) with my program, Dad was a bit upset (money) and Mom was excited (she wants pictures taken). Money is an issue but we will see how things go.
Looked at the MOMA webpage and it makes me want to go more. Monet’s Waterlilies are showing, back from London I believe. There’s alot of Cezanne, of whom I adore. Picasso’s collages. Kara Walker’s work as well.
Who knows what will happen from now till then though.
I just made some Matcha tea. The cheep stuff leaves a powdery taste in my mouth, I like the can from David’s Tea better. My technique with the whisk is better I must say. I am going to go enjoy the rest of this cup as I now wait for the dryer to be done. Good Night.