In the DC area, I've recently found two tea stores of note -- one good, one bad.The Spice & Tea Exchange:
They have several locations in this area (at least one in Georgetown and one in Alexandria) and several others across the country (link
). The quality of much of the tea they have is great -- my favorites are the ones infused with chocolate and the genmaicha that they have (naturally, like any other place, there're a few blends that aren't good so at least sniff before you buy). The prices are a bit on the high side, but generally not as bad as Teavana.Capital Teas:
This place is crap. I don't understand how they stay in business and operate like 6-7 locations. It's overpriced, their blends smell like someone went way overboard with every spice on the rack, and everything else is simply the same as you could get elsewhere for a lower price. I think you'd be better off brewing potpourri.
So yeah, check out Spice & Tea Exchange if you get a chance. Let me know if you have the same thoughts. KF