Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Teavana Rant: The People's Tea or is it?

     We all heard by now that a new sheriff has arrived in town bringining with him teas from all parts of the globe! He has already brought down the giant SpecialTeas and already on its way to a town near yours! He will bring justice to people's plight with Unilever, Twinnings, and Harrogates  and bring them the goods of quality leaves while having the big boys a run for their money! Not quite and sadly not even close to achieving their objectives to promote a culture of tea, lifestyle and fondness for the crop! I always see the miserable Teavana stores brimming with color opposites to the sterile and cookie cutter stores around them. Not a soul in sight in the stores happily buying tea...a bad day indeed! But like an emerging company with an eye for the money, their intentions are just to profit over the new movements of organic, fair trade certified, and sustainable quality products. Its like commercializing the "free love and peace" movement or "individualism" sure it provides the goods but in all with high prices for a Breakfast blend at 5 dollars per 2 ounces or 20 dollars for 2 ounces for a "jeeling" is far too much for the average joe! Funny how easily a person would buy a sack a fifteen dollar bag of coffee or buy a 20 dollar bottle of liquor! 
       Then Teavana sets up shop in an already stingy but up-worldly mobile middle class world rather familiarize the masses with tea. Why not sell tea 1$ an once and for the best 10$ per two ounces so that the masses will descend upon the stores thristy for tea of various kinds. Then once the tea is quite familiarized in the whole masses, then why not make strawberry swirly temple tea or lemon lime green tea blend or what not! Hell, even their online shops not under the sway of high rents and lack of customers find they have prices the same as in their stores! How could any respectable chap be able to have a cuppa the ole fashion way in the afternoon? They wouldn't need to raise the prices if the demands were high enough if made available to everyone, after all they represent tea culture for everyone! Then comes the issues of the company staying afloat, the farmers getting less for their crops, teas ending selling over to sugary and greedy tastes of the modern day?! 
       Well, everyone seems to have no concern so long they can get their fix on the stuff and drown in it! If Teavana is all too concerned in staying afloat and making a buck while at it , then it should consider its prices advertise as much, and make their products available in stores, food outlets, and even some celebrity endorsements! Just imagine Mr.Slim, Snoop Dogg, Ice Cube, hell Justin Bieber promoting tea and tea culture! Everyone will flock to the stores buy their endorsed teas and make a fortune all the while providing the best damn tea! Still the stubborn mule that is Teavana, they want to represent themselves as the underdogs, the little guys selling off a lifestyle and products  like a big giant corporation! "Oh! I can be the savior of the farmers and teas by purchasing tea worth five dollars or twenty"!? The irony in this is that when the farmers do receive payments its hardly enough to pay stacking debts and stay sustainable without much customers! Day by day the allure of big company contracts of big profits over shadows the disappearing devotion to crafts. 
      Then the rising costs of oil and the affects of large production to the Earth is to be considered! Just when Teavana is  unable to cater the people, provide a culture, provide tea availability, it fails to even see there role as a provider of teas and sustainability is shoddy if best pathetic!When they rise prices they not only add to the plight if the workers earning no pay when their teas are not brought but allows other indiscriminate companies to pollute the world if not help send the message that sustainability, fair-trade, and organic agriculture is not at all efficient! Even the practice of organic agriculture requires more land which needs money! More land to till needs more hands which needs more money! To grow the crops, tend the crops, process the crops, transport the crops all of which translates to more money! Then they sell them online or in stores of high rent and of course they are not able to sell a good amount of tea to give back to the growers! Well, nobody wants to work for free! Nobody wants to continue a hard pressed labour that equally damages the environment and buy more capital! There has to be a way to get around this catch-22 dilemma that seemingly every route taken always hurts everyone! 
      Teavana: a failure to the people, a culture, the farmers, the world over? Its the fault of almost everyone and including me! I mean there is so much companies that far outpace Teavana and are quite mega and encompassing our lives. Teavana is just a company caught in the web of a system built for pure profit and nothing but and slowly change it. Like it or not which I know that eventually an indie of companies may inevitable submit to the trends of giants that is unfortunate and tragic! We try to at least buy not for tea but for the farmers but end up somehow facing the facts that low prices, shoddy crafts, and unfair products are too good to pass by. If there is a compromise of prices, the availability of the major of Teavana teas to outlets, and the localized advertising to increase sale if not promote tea. Importantly bigger companies should take notice of the organic movement and help foster a better future. I think the hope is all in us consumers!

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