The Showcase Magazine - Salutes

By Lauren Holstein

Whether poured hot or served fresh over ice, no matter the style– it can be found served at The TeaCompany. Located in Watchung, The TeaCompany invites their guests to sip, shop, and learn all things tea! The boutique and luxury retail shop & cafe, which opened in June of last year, lets customers drink fresh tea, buy premium loose-leaf teas, herbal teas, tea gift sets and tea ware, and/or even get a tea education.

Owner Sammarah Jackson was thrilled to open her business featuring superior tea after seven years of honing her passion. Upon being introduced to tea by a friend, Jackson became so intrigued that she went on to earn two certificates from The Specialty Tea Institute as a Tea Expert, located in New York City, and the other certification from a tea association in California. After getting a formal education she began selling tea online and even started to teach certification classes herself. Jackson realized there was a lot of interest in tea and wanted to open a shop to share tea with more people in her community.

The TeaCompany focuses on providing a specific service and ambiance to clients to incorporate their motto "Sip, Shop, Learn". “Sip” the quality, flavorful, healthy, and dessert teas available for consumption in-house. They include artisan, black, decaf, flavor and scented, fruit, green, herbal, mate, oolong, herb/spice, pu’erh, rooibos, and white styles. "All of our teas are of a high quality and are grown on tea gardens across the globe. I import based on my personal preference and experience as well as consumer demand and/or special request,” says Jackson.

“Shop” the beautiful display of accessories, pots, and tea ware available for purchase. “Our prices are very reasonable. You’re getting quality products, but you don't have to pay inflated prices for them,” says Jackson. While she sources many authentic items from her overseas vendors, she also focuses on supporting local small businesses like herself. “I especially try to build relationships with women-owned business,” says Jackson. “Learn” from Jackson’s workshops and certification courses. She plans to teach workshops 1-on-1, hour long classes where customers learn basics about tea!

The TeaCompany is happy to host your exclusive tea party for a birthday, work event, or even a fancy lunch party! A Sunday Tea Time reservation includes table setting, a pot of tea (2 or 4 cups), mixed green salad, mini tea sandwiches, seasonal mini pastry desserts, and scones (served on a three-tier serving tray with a preset menu). Parties typically last two hours but can be extended per hour for an additional fee. The maximum number of people recommended for a comfortable experience is fifteen. Reservations can be made on OpenTable, by calling the store, or on the website. Reservations for smaller parties (2-6 people) can be made a day in advance.

When it comes to the future of The TeaCompany, Jackson’s goal is to become the go-to place for all things tea. She is well on her way with cutesy items like tea scented chapstick and tea-based balsamic vinegar. “We like to offer other wonderful tea related products on top of the high-quality loose tea that you can buy and take home. We're the authorized retail location for the Savannah Bee Company and Nambe award-winning designer products. In need of that great cup of tea on your drive to work or home, stop on in!” says Jackson.

Next time you're having a tea craving, pop over to The TeaCompany to enjoy a variety of their tea flavors and styles. Their hours of operation include Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 7 pm. On Sundays, they are closed for reserved events.