June 9, 2015

Tea is the second most consumed beverage worldwide

With the rise of clean-eating, raw food and healthy choices, more and more customers are seeking lighter and healthier drinks, namely tea.

Espresso, long black, flat white, macchiato, Americano, latte, mocca, cappuccino, iced … however you like it, the options for coffee loving café goers are endless, whilst us poor tea drinkers are often left waiting while the barista fumbles through tired looking teabag boxes under the counter to see what they have to offer: “English breakfast? Peppermint?” Yawn.

Tea is the second most consumed beverage worldwide after water, so why is it then that cafés still neglect to deliver a tea offering comparable to their coffee? Especially it is worth mentioning that tea offers more margin than coffee, is easier to make, does not require special equipment nor trained baristas, and has a massive shelf life. It just needs a little more love.

Why does tea have to be done well exclusively in “high-tea” venues? I don’t know about you, but my stomach certainly cannot cope with a tiered plate of petit-fours everyday for lunch, and nor can my wallet! I’d just like to go to a café for simple café fare and select from a range of quality leaf teas.

With the rise of clean-eating, raw food and healthy choices, more and more customers are seeking lighter and healthier drinks, namely tea.  There’s an incredible array of fine tea types and blends on the market, so there’s no need to limit your selection to English breakfast, Earl Grey, Green Tea and Peppermint; get your customers excited with a rich and varied offering! Here’s an excerpt from The Palace Tea Room’s incredible tea menu (

“The ultimate indulgence, this tea is lusciously sweet but balanced with a robust spicy edge that makes it hard to resist. Our hot cinnamon is a medium bodied black tea with an artful blend of cinnamons, orange and sweet cloves, delicious at any time of the day and equivalent to a great big hug in a cup”.  How great does this sound? Any quality tea supplier should provide descriptions for their teas in a menu format. When tea is presented to the customer like this (and with minimal effort and set up costs on your part), there’s extra margin to be had. When it’s hot out, ice your teas for the ultimate refreshing low-calorie antioxidant-rich thirst quencher.

Given the investment is a fraction of the cost and the return greater, I challenge you to improve your tea offering in 2015 and reap the rewards! Harney & Sons loose leaf silken pyramid sachets offer conveniences for busy cafés that solve the loose leaf issue. Available in an exciting range, with intriguing names like pomegranate oolong and chocolate mint, hot cinnamon spice and Bangkok … your tea drinking customers will at last share the same pleasures coffee lovers do.  Nothing impresses me more than a café with a great fine-tea selection beyond the mainstays presented in an easy to navigate tea menu… and a glance at beautiful presentation caddies gives confidence it’s going to be good.

Loose leaf sachets don’t even require teapots with filters; teapot options are endless, from modern ceramic and glass designs to op shop china for a vintage shabby-chic look. Whilst fresh water from an urn or tea kettle is ideal, water off the coffee machine is acceptable, with more care needed for green, white and oolong teas; just let the water cool for a minute or two before adding the tea leaves, or even a splash of cold water in first. Understanding steeping times isn’t rocket science, and a kindly suggestion to the customer that their tea will be perfect for drinking in three more minutes shows you care.

Send the quality tea out on a cute tray with a nice (not chipped, yes I see this a lot) teapot that pours well, with a proper tea cup, little milk jug and spoon. Your tea drinking customer will be ecstatic and you in turn will feel proud; never again will there be scoffing noises over inflated tea prices for that supermarket teabag.

Gourmet tea provedores Harney & Sons set up their customers with tea menus, space saving display racks, access to online tea education and even tasting note cards like you get in trendy coffee shops for single origin coffees. All these things raise your game and ultimately add to that bottom line.

Happy tea drinking. 

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