Another new tea vendor. Ho hum, right? Wrong! The Tea and Jazz House is in a class by itself. Since small tea businesses, often run by one or two people, dot the Internet with increasing frequency, being a standout is important. Some do it through clever company names, such as Mad Pots of Tea, while others do it through distinctive package design like Indie Teas. The Tea & Jazz House names their tea and herbal creations after jazz legends, matching the flavor and character of the blends to that of the musician. Combine this with music playing on the site when you go to it (the page has to fully load first) and your tea buying experience will never be the same.
Music playing on websites isn’t a new thing, nor is combining music with selling tea. Nevertheless, The Tea and Jazz House has an appeal that some of these others do not. Maybe it’s the sense of energy and excitement I got just from finding out more about owner Mary Cali. Maybe it was how much hubby and I enjoyed the first of the two tea samples she sent us. Maybe it’s the tie-in with her music label JazzticFuso and The Collab Lab studio. Lots of possibilities here.
It’s a new business, so there is always a risk when ordering, but my personal opinion is that it’s minimal. Mary is pretty serious about getting this business going. I doubt that she would want word to get around that you couldn’t order from her safely. She also comes across as someone of integrity.
The bad news: this is another site built using Flash. As a former Usability Designer for Peoplesoft and other large firms, I went by the cardinal rule “just because the technology is there, you don’t have to use it,” meaning that splashy and flashy took a big back seat to creating a site that people could actually use with ease to do what the site intended. In this case, the issue is how Flash works and not having information (such as the product descriptions) clearly displayed. The site officially launches on June 21st, but you can visit it now in advance.
Get better acquainted with The Tea and Jazz House by following them on Twitter: @teaandjazz. She also welcomes your feedback on her site, the teas, and related matters.