Located in Carol Stream, IL., Serene Teaz operated as a tea bar and retail shop from 2005 to 2017, but owner and founder Sarine Crotteau decided to switch to a strictly online business since February 2017, offering her own unique blends and a variety of tea wares and accessories.
Serene Teaz Began with a Sea Change
Sarine spent over 20 years in a corporate position as a purchasing manager, before deciding to chuck it all in to start a new career. She had a short stint at a spice shop, where she overheard a customer asking if they sold loose leaf tea.
When her co-worker advised, “No, but someone should”, a light bulb went off for Sarine.
She then opened her loose tea business in 2005. Her years of experience paid off when setting about to start a tea bar and she soon enjoyed the different vibe of working with customers who were passionate about their health and delicious varieties of tea.
Creating her own blends of black, white, green and herbal teas that could be enjoyed hot or iced, she soon began to garner loyal customers who raved about her unique approach, which included selling quality tea pots and accessories, as well as quirky tea-themed books and jewelry.
The Turning of the Tide
In the beginning, Serene Teaz offered 40 varieties of loose leaf teas, which soon grew to 130. Popular blends included:
- Winter Solstice – a peppermint white tea
- Hawaiian Mimosa – a tropical tisane
- Almond Cookie – a sweet and nutty flavored black tea
When Sarine realized the difficulty of finding employees who could match her passion and enthusiasm for offering unique and healthy teas, she eventually decided to change to an online store when her lease was up.
Competition from chains such as Starbucks and the fact that customers seemed to prefer to purchase their teas online were also factors, but since then – she hasn’t looked back.
It’s More than just a Cup of Tea
One of Sarine’s passions is educating her customers about the world of tea and she thinks of her loyal base as members of an extended family.
Keeping her finger on the pulse of the tea industry and discussing different blends with others keeps her focused on providing delicious and healthy teas and anything tea-related, with a sense of whimsy which makes her product line stand out from other home-style brands.
With a website that includes interesting and quality loose leaf teas as well as virtual gift cards and innovative tea ware, Sarine can now focus on offering more than just a cup of tea.
Scottish Breakfast Tea
This is a caffeinated, black tea for those who love a breakfast blend that is dark and briskly robust. Made from tea sourced from China and India, this blend is one of the strongest black teas this company carries, with a bright and flavorful taste that has a hint of oakiness.
Autumn Star Tea
An unusual, caffeine-free tisane that is fruity and nutty. Comprised of star anise, apple, hibiscus, cinnamon, almonds, rose hips, elderberries, aniseed and sultanas, this spicy and sweet blend has notes of licorice, making it a warm beverage for a cozy night in front of the fireplace.
Green Chai Tea
For something different, try this Green Chai, made with green tea, ginger, cardamom, black pepper, cloves, cinnamon and spearmint brittle. Imbued with strong flavors of mint and clove, this healthy and tasty tea is a twist on the usual black chai varieties.
Serene Teaz has a wonderful variety of unique blends that you might not find anywhere else. Along with their vast array of lovely tea pots, cooking utensils and other tea-related merchandise, they also carry delightful children’s tea-sets, ornaments and tea-based foods.