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Tea Embassy is a family business that began as a hobby business in the basement of Bob and Carol Sims in 2001. Carol loved Chatsford bone china teapots and saw an opportunity to share the love with eager buyers through online sales at teatreasures.com. Seeing the increasing sales and potential for growth, Jonathan offered to join his mother with the web development side of her business to take it to the next level. With boxes taking over the living room and basement, the two (or three, since Bob wanted his house back!) began to dream of opening a shop in downtown Austin. Soon after, the 900 Rio Grande location of Tea Embassy was born. A hidden gem, the magical Victorian home served as an urban refuge in the heart of downtown Austin, and became many Austinites favorite destination in the city. Beautiful antique furnishings, character-rich architecture, a spirit of generosity and hospitality filled the atmosphere and caused strangers to immediately feel like family. Saturdays at the store were especially special when the whole family would pitch in to serve customers – Bob seated in “his” brown leather chair next to the tea bar expertly discerning and recommending the perfect tea for each customer, Carol giving her sales spiel on the best tea pot to select (bone china), Jonathan warmly greeting each customer and bagging their favorite teas which he usually did without them even having to ask, and Amy chasing little ones around the store. Such wonderful memories and relationships with wonderful customers made it especially hard for the family when they decided to close the retail shop in May 2013 and move the business to TeaEmbassy.com. Jonathan and Amy now run the online and wholesale business, and their hope is to bring the same hospitality, warmth, and unparalleled customer experience to every person that enters their “store” on TeaEmbassy.com.
Tea Embassy was founded on a vision to provide premium teas from around the world, encouraging all generations, genders, and cultures to experience the wonders of tea together. Our family has long believed that tea is much more than a beverage, rather a doorway to connection, that causes its partakers to slow down, converse, and savor the simple pleasures in life. Our unique approach to tea is not about tea “snobbery” involving the perfect ceremonial ritual, purist attitudes that demean flavored teas, or using only “the finest” tea ware. Tea neophytes can feel especially comforted shopping at Tea Embassy because part of our passion is educating new tea drinkers and helping them to “find their cup of tea” using the online Tea Type quiz. Based on years of helping customers in our tea shop narrow down their tea choice from over 200 teas to a few, Jonathan created the Tea Type, in order to bring the same in-store experience to TeaEmbassy.com. The word is getting out, and more and more new tea drinkers are “finding their cup of tea” and spreading the love. Tea purists need not feel left out, however, as we have a steadfast commitment to selling only the finest quality teas available. If a tea does not meet our standards for excellent taste, value, and purity (no icky additives), it will not be offered through Tea Embassy. Whether you are looking for a hand-made tea from the country Georgia on the Black Sea, a Japanese bamboo whisk for making Matcha, or a delicious caffeine-free flavored tea that tastes better than dessert, Tea Embassy has you covered. Thank you for being here and for supporting our family business!
Excellence - We pursue excellence in everything we do. Whether it's packaging tea for you and labeling it, or providing you with the highest quality teas available, you experience excellence.
Quality - We provide the highest quality teas, tea packaging and tea-related products. We test everything before we endorse it in our store, so you can expect quality when you shop with us.
Family - We support and care for our family as a literal, small, family business, and we include our Tea Ambassadors as part of this family.
Customer Service - We provide extraordinary customer service. Come in and enjoy our hospitality, letting us give you an incredible tea experience.
Generosity - We love to generously educate, give out samples, and even contribute to our local community through donations and fundraisers.