Specialty Coffee Retailer

Specialty Coffee Retailer November 2012

Specialty Coffee Retailer is a publication for owners, managers and employees of retail outlets that sell specialty coffee. Its scope includes best sales practices, supplies, business trends and anything else to assist the small coffee retailer.

Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/92590

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Page 15 of 43

Brewing up a program tea might think to give your customers more than a teabag. It's easier, and more profitable, than you BY PAN DEMETRAKAKES fend off with a teabag and some hot water. But doing so risks alienating the substantial minority of I f you work in the coffee world, it's easy to think of the occasional tea customer as an aſterthought—someone to people who may be attracted to the convivial atmosphere of your coffeehouse, but just don't like coffee. The good news is, it's easier than you might think to start a good, basic tea program and train your staff (and yourself) to brew it properly. The really good news is, loose-leaf tea usually has a higher profit margin than coffee. "We do make a lot more money [on tea] than coffee, because coffee in general is an expensive product to have, whereas tea is not as much," says D' House in Philadelphia. If you do the math, loose-leaf tea at $10 a pound works Andrea Durham, manager of OCF Coffee out to about five cents per 8-ounce cup, says Michael Lannier, systems manager for TeaSource. That's not only better than coffee, it's typically less than a third the cost of a teabag—which usually has tea of much lower quality. But more importantly, a sound tea program can serve as a products. Photo courtesy of TeaSource Tea suppliers often are happy to help train coffeehouse customers in the best ways to handle and brew their they don't want a cup of coffee, you go through all this fancy- schmancy stuff pouring out a great cup of coffee and then the person who wants tea gets up there, and you give him a teabag. a third of its customer base, she estimates. " If OCF Coffee House did that, it would lose more than FOUR IS ENOUGH Starting a tea program doesn't have to be daunting. For one thing, most shops won't need to have as many different teas on the menu as they do coffees. With judicious selection, you can start with as few as four varieties, TeaSource's Timothy Otte said in a lecture at Coffee Fest in Seattle this fall. These should include: up, " Otte says); way to reach people who aren't coffee fans. "Generally what happens in most specialty coffee shops is, they care a lot about the coffee, and they don't care about the tea," Durham says. "And that makes them look really bad to tea customers. There are people out there that don't drink coffee. And coffee shops are social gatherings. So someone invites their friend out to a coffee shop to talk about something and 16 aren't familiar with tea and "want something that doesn't really taste like tea"; and other tea experts recommend herbals above decaffeinated tea, which they say is usually expensive and oſten of dubious quality. Beyond the basic four, Otte's suggestions include a second could be a chai, which should be made in-house if possible. "If you make your own chai, you can keep your costs

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