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Tea Me, Please Me

With a mission to help people build healthy lifestyles through the benefits of leaf tea, Tea2Go is offering plenty of satisfying options and varieties of one of history's oldest thirst quenchers.

Article
Lindsay Morris
Photos
Chelsi Fisher
Posted
February 28, 2018

When you walk into one of the Tulsa-area Tea2Go stores, you feel like you’ve walked into a coffee shop. You’ll be greeted with an inviting beverage bar and friendly baristas. But instead of coffee, a sea of tantalizing loose leaf and brewed teas will surround you.

Teresa Hardesty moved to the 918 from West Texas with her husband and six children in 2016. Soon after moving here, she realized something was missing — one of her favorite places to stop for a drink. Tea2Go was nowhere to be found in Oklahoma.

So, she got to thinking, “Why not open up a location or two?”

Just 16 months after moving here, in September 2017, she opened Tea2Go in Owasso and in November 2017, opened Tea2Go in Jenks.

Business has been good for Tea2Go in the 918. The Owasso location is the top selling franchise in the entire company, which started out of Amarillo, Texas, just a few years ago. The company has a dozen locations (mostly in Texas); and Hardesty hopes to bring a few more to the Tulsa area.

It’s easy to see why the Owasso location is so successful. Almost all the customers appear to be regulars. As soon as they enter, Hardesty and other employees ask if they’d like their usual or something different.

Tea2Go is all about bringing the health benefits of tea to the everyday person. (Photo: Chelsi Fisher)
Tea2Go is all about bringing the health benefits of tea to the everyday person. (Photo: Chelsi Fisher)

“We’re big on customer service and getting to know customers,” Hardesty says.

In a world where Starbucks has claimed so many loyal customers through stars on their mobile app, Tea2Go has also created an incentive program. They offer a loyalty gift card that customers can load with any amount. “You get a free drink when you load it and when you reload,” Hardesty says.

It’s easy to understand how customers can become hooked once you taste Tea2Go iced chai tea that’s the perfect blend of sweet and spicy. Hardesty says they also offer a dirty chai with espresso shots.

As delicious as the chai is, sweet southern peach is the most popular drink at the Tea2Go 918 locations.

Customers can choose from any of their dozens of loose-leaf teas — either hot or iced. (Photo: Chelsi Fisher)
Customers can choose from any of their dozens of loose-leaf teas — either hot or iced. (Photo: Chelsi Fisher)

Customers can choose from any of their dozens of loose-leaf teas — either hot or iced. In addition, Tea2Go offers a tea bar of 16 brewed iced teas, with offerings like Berry Mojito, Sweet Mint Black and Strawberry Hibiscus. Many tea bar customers even purchase tea by the gallon for special events.

Tea2Go is also all about bringing the health benefits of tea to the everyday person, Hardesty says. The company also seeks to make these healthy drinks affordable. “They’re prices that just about everybody can afford,” She says.

A big part of the Tea2Go culture is educating the customers on tea. “A lot of people come in, and all they know about tea is sweet and unsweet. People don’t realize there are so many options,” she says.

Tea is a huge part of culture in many parts of the world, and it’s slowly catching on in this country. “The U.S. is taking a trend toward the healthy,” she says.

The most delicate of the teas, white tea, has the most health benefit but no caffeine. Green tea is so popular because it has the health benefit and some caffeine, and black teas have the most caffeine but little health benefit.

Tea2Go also offers matcha, a finely ground powder of specially grown and processed green tea leaves. “One cup of matcha has the health benefits of drinking 10 cups of green tea,” Hardesty says while sipping a cup, which gives her lots of energy and has even cleared up her skin.

Tea2Go has a line of wellness teas that are perfect for customers who wander in feeling under the weather. Hardesty says some of the teas can help clear up colds and sinus issues.

When you step into Tea2Go, you’ll notice that all the loose-leaf teas are separated by tea type — white, green, black, etc. Each tea type also has a descriptor that explains the health benefits of that tea. For example, white tea offers fat-burning properties while helping to boost the immune system, while oolong reduces blood sugar and promotes skin health.

Tea2Go also takes pride in the fact that more than half of the teas are organic.

If your tummy is rumbling during your visit to Tea2Go, never fear. They also offer snacks like beef jerky, chocolate-dipped peanuts, trail mix and cookies baked fresh each week by Cookie Mama.

The Jenks location has a drive-thru, while the Owasso location does not. Hardesty warns that if people use the drive-thru, they need to be prepared for a wait on some teas, which can take up to five minutes to fully brew.

LOCATOR
Tea2Go
tea2go.us
Monday-Friday: 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday: 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

9031 N. 121st E. Ave. | Owasso
918-510-2799

310 W. Main St. | Jenks
918-998-5815