What are some of the better Teas stores in the area?
run, dont walk, to La societe du the (that was fun to google, without being able to spell society in french or getting it to recognize the as tea and not "the"):
La Société Du Thé
2708 Lyndale Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408
i can't promise you wont find a better deal elsewhere, but theres no place more passionate about tea. with that said ive had great experiences at the tea source also and they do a great job training their folks, but as far as i can tell the guy who runs La Societe bleeds tea.
second this rec. be prepared with your questions in advance, however, the gent who runs the place does not take kindly to philistines coming into his shop and asking for "earl grey tea" and such. he's been known to make fun of casual browsers for their lack of tea knowledge. yes, folks, we have our very own "tea nazi"--- just kidding, he's actually a very, very nice man. . . on a good day. he knows his stuff, obviously.
just to be totally fair, while i have, on numerous occasions, noticed a tea-nazi-esque potential in the proprietor of this shop, he has, without fail, been willing to talk about everything conceivable related to the various teas he sells, from geography to soil composition, and in an impressively informed manner.
that said, its not the right place to walk in thinking you know all about tea cause you just downed your tazo from sbucks - call it ego stroking or proper display of reverence but what has always worked is to go in with some general ideas of what i liked/was looking for and ask questions/let him guide you to a good tea.
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Not listed are a couple of other places.
If you like quirky, there's Mrs. Kelly's Teas. They sell through the Farmers Markets and at some of the kitchen stores like Let's Cook in Nordeast. They also sell through their shop in the old Summit Brewery on Marshall in Nordeast, with tastings etc. I like their yunnan and puer, but they're more famous for their flavored teas.
If shopping mall chains work for you, there's a Teavana in MOA.
Mrs Kelly's Tea
77 13th Ave NE # 103, Minneapolis, MN