HTeaO brews excitement one sip at a time

HTeaO, coffee chain opens new College Station location
HTeaOs College Station store operator, Paul Torres, Class of 2002, stands for a photo on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024.
HTeaO’s College Station store operator, Paul Torres, Class of 2002, stands for a photo on Friday, Feb. 2, 2024.
Karis Olson

HTeaO began business in College Station, attracting customers within days of their grand opening. The franchise opened up its 100th location in late January, advertising high-quality tea, water and other health-related products. Customers have the freedom to customize and blend their beverages according to their preferences, allowing them to serve themselves the perfect drink. 

HTeaO has unique flavors including their popular Georgia peach and wild raspberry, which sets it apart from other businesses such as Starbucks and Dutch Bros, junior communications major Colby Brown said. He lives near HTeaO, so it’s convenient to grab a drink on the go, he said.

“I like that it’s whatever you choose, and you can fill it up with how much ever you want,” Brown said. “It feels like a luxurious gas station in a sense. You have the Stanleys, the Yetis, the service stations and everything.”

The store began construction last summer, store operator Paul Torres, Class of 2002, said. It’s a Panhandle-based franchise started in 2009 by owners Gary and Kim Hutchens. During the grand opening on Jan. 20 the store had over 2,500 people in attendance, Torres said. 

“I had probably 25 people on board,” Torres said. ”Our staff and I knew it was going to be beefed up, so I beefed up on a lot of products, cups, straws because I knew we were going to have a big crowd.”

Torres said HTeaO customers were anticipating the opening throughout months of construction when they’d drive through Wellborn Rd. The business has continued to see a lot of traffic since opening.

“The first week has been very busy and it’s been busy ever since,” Torres said. ”We have a happy hour from 2-4 [p.m.], half-priced drinks. That’s when it gets really busy.”

Despite its popularity, Torres said there were some challenges due to the newness of the establishment.

“As the store continues to grow, your staff continues to grow and they continue to get more effective and efficient,” Torres said. “Right now we’re still not at that efficient stage because it’s all new to everybody.”

Brown said the shop is well put together and has a clean environment, with good support staff making customers feel welcomed.

“They’re very approachable, easy to talk to [and] there’s not a lot of wait time because unless you’re getting coffee it is at your own pace,” Brown said.

Before the grand opening, the store held a soft launch, which is where communication senior Micah Palacios received her peach ginger green tea.

“I like the variety because I love tea,” Palacios said. “I grew up drinking a lot of tea. One of my roommates mixed several different ones like mango and blueberry tea, so you have that freedom to make whatever you want.”

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