Building Tea Knowledge for Customers and Partners at Teavana

On any given day, more than 158 million Americans drink hot or iced tea, but how much do they know about the world’s most widely consumed beverage after water?

To share tea’s history, and some of the many ways to enjoy the beverage, Teavana has redesigned and launched a tea passport for partners (employees).

A Destination for All Things Tea

When Paige Azavedo and her team set out to redesign, she focused on creating a site that is easy to navigate and reflects the essence of the Teavana brand.

“We spent a lot of time looking at how customers use the existing site,” said Azavedo, director of e-commerce for Teavana. “We looked at what they care about most and determined how to bring that forward in the design.”

The site layout highlights various types of tea, teaware and gifts for the holidays and other special occasions. There’s also a section dedicated entirely to Matcha, a green tea that is growing in popularity. Readers can learn about the history of tea, as well as explore various brewing methods and tea mixology.

“Many Teavana blends and beverage recipes are inspired by mixology,” said Naoko Tsunoda, tea authority and Teavana’s director of Tea Development. “We tap into artisanal cocktails and study the development of certain liquors for new tea drink ideas. We hope customers are encouraged to become mixologists by creating their own tea blends and drinks.”

For a convenient way to explore the different flavors and varieties of tea, offers a tea subscription service. Each month, Teavana tea experts will select one pure tea and two complementary teas to ship to subscribers at no additional charge.

“The tea subscription is a great way to try new teas that you might not ordinarily select,” said Tsunoda. “It’s also a great way to discover a new favorite.”

Elevating Tea Expertise

In May of this year, Tsunoda and colleague Dan Karches embarked on a five-month journey to create a definitive tea resource to support partners in sharing their expertise.

“Partners told us that they wanted to know even more about tea,” said Karches, director of Category Brand Management for Teavana. “It was important for us to get this information into their hands.”

“We wanted partners to have a single easy-to-read reference tool focused on tea,” added Tsunoda.

The result of their collaboration was an 80-page tea passport, a factual guide and notebook intertwined with beautiful images of loose-leaf teas and lush farms in tea-origin countries. The passport was distributed to partners in all Teavana stores across the U.S.

With a history dating back to 2737 BC, when it is believed that tea was discovered by the emperor of China, there was a lot of material to consider. However, it was important for Tsunoda and Karches to select key facts most relevant to Teavana partners.

The passport unfolds with the origins of tea, Teavana quality, how tea is grown and processed, and the art of tea tasting. It continues with different categories of tea offered at Teavana stores, including white, green, oolong and black. Those categories are further organized by flavor profile, such as floral, berry and citrus.

“There is so much I would like to share with partners about tea,” said Tsunoda. “With Dan’s help, we culled the information down to two or three facts about each Teavana tea.”

Tsunoda and Karches are looking forward to learning how partners use their new resource. In addition to providing information, the passport provides ample space for partners to jot down thoughts about different teas, describing the taste and the experience of each sip.

“I want partners to dog ear the pages and reference it regularly,” said Karches.

“I would love them to be filled with lots of hand-written notes,” added Tsunoda. “I hope they have fun with it and share what they learn with other partners and customers.”

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