Tea Shops Provide Extra Warmth and Personal Customer Service

By: Karen Dybis | November 16, 2020

Photo Courtesy of The Renezvous.

For tea expert Naszreen Gibson, ordering her products online is not an option. The owner of Grosse Pointe Woods’ The Rendezvous with Tea insists on giving her customers personal advice about what tea might best serve their needs. Her Mack Avenue shop is both a place to shop but also a chance to talk deeply about the restorative power of tea. 

If a customer is looking for stress relief or digestive health, she may suggest her blend called Santosha, which combines her fine tea with lemon peel, fennel seeds, turmeric and ginger. If you are looking for help with a cold, she may point you toward Turmeric Gold, which has turmeric, ginger, lemongrass, coriander seeds and golden chrysanthemum. 

But if you just need something cozy to help you with Seasonal Affective Disorder or the winter blues, then perhaps a unique black tea Gibson created called Hot Chocolate may be just the thing. The tea has a lush feel as well as a whisper of heat toward the end of each sip. It is warm and comforting while still reminding you that you are enjoying a beverage of quality. 

“It has chocolate pieces and a hint of red chili flakes,” Gibson said, making it a surprising mix of heat and sweet. 

The Rendezvous with Tea is Gibson’s dream store, a place where she can get to know her customers, create unique blends that tell the story of her life and connect with her local community. Gibson, who is from Sri Lanka, came to the United States because her husband is American, and she has been enjoying her life here ever since.

Gibson recently became a U.S. citizen, and her teas reflect that journey as well. For example, her Magical Motown tea reflects the state’s love of apples while the Michigana includes a touch of cherry. She even has a tea called 1600 Pennsylvania, a white tea that includes flavors of rose, cherry, blueberry, blue mallow flower, strawberry and raspberry. 

If it sounds like Gibson is a tea advocate, she is. The Rendezvous with Tea has more than 350 varieties available. Gibson enjoys talking tea with anyone who comes through the door. She also has a tea subscription club, tea tastings and other seasonal events to introduce her loyal customers to new blends as they come in. 

“The only thing better than a cup of tea is a quality cup of tea,” Gibson said. 

To help keep you warm this winter, here are some other tea-focused retailers around Metro Detroit.

Just Delicious Scones & The Royal Treat Tea Room

As this Roseville shop and event space notes, it started with just scones but ended up being so much more. The tea room brings a beautiful blend of drinks with food and conversation, all in one space. At the moment, the tea room asks for reservations and it also is offering carryout as well.

Eli Tea Bar

Birmingham’s Eli Tea includes a café and a specialty shop that focuses on loose-leaf teas. You can try a bit of everything in this cute store, including iced tea, tea lattes and bubble tea. All in all, you have more than 100 teas to select from to make your favorite cup of warmth. They also have Detroit Kombucha on tap. 

Sweetwaters

Troy, Clinton Township and several other Metro Detroit cities are home to this locally owned chain of tea and coffee stores. Sweetwaters offer a wide selection of teas, noting that this beverage is just as important to them as coffee. They also have a variety of food available so if you’re looking for a snack or lunch, then you’re in luck. 

Goldfish Tea Café

This friendly Royal Oak shop is a must visit. Goldfish Tea is a contemporary Chinese tea house offering more than 40 varieties of high-quality loose leaf tea as well as unique tea accessories and gifts. The café also offers bubble tea, smoothies, iced tea, coffee-based beverages as well as hot chocolate and lattes. Sandwiches and a variety of in-house made baked goods are available for lunch, dinner or a light snack.