The market is ready for more tea. Many coffee drinkers are in fact, "closet tea drinkers" or coffee out with jittery hands.
The non-coffee drinkers are voting with their feet to places cater for them with good quality leaf tea.
The tea drinking market is under serviced in Australia and you have an unfair advantage if you have decent leaf tea.
The number of teas you stock is going to directly influence what sort of "tea place" your business is going to project to your customers.
Cafes with 8 or more teas are taking tea seriously, as most tend to serve the standard 4-6, namely:
You must proceed with care and dedication, however, if you want your tea range to bring in cashflow.
It is paramount your tea is marketed with appropriate understanding and staff training.
If you and your floor staff are only confident talking about the usual black tea, like Earl Grey and English Breakfast, it's best to start with those and a couple of the other ones, whether it is something more exotic like Chai Masala or Ginger Kiss.
Once you are familiar with new teas, then work your way upping the range.
Your aim is not to stock more but stock with passion and understanding - this shows and customers can tell.
Hold staff meeting with tea tasting. Do VIP fundraiser tasting or happy hour tea and food matching deals.
Start with teas you drink and know, and your knowledge will take hold from there.
In the above video: How many teas should you stock?
The people who tend to ask us this question is pro-active, they are trying to say that, “okay, we want to take tea seriously but what’s the next step?”
For example, if you walk into a café and they stock 6-8 different kinds of tea such as English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Chamomile, Peppermint, Chai and Green Tea, they are pretty standard and if you stock 6 of them, your customer will treat you like any other café.
But if you stock more than 6, like 8-10 different kinds of teas, you might add Rooibos, Hibiscus, Ginger, Darjeeling (Black Tea), more Green Tea, Genmaicha, maybe throw some Fruity one as well as Green Chai.
You might also add White Tea or Pu-erh, and then people will definitely start to look at you differently.
That is what you called “market perception”.
So if you want to take tea seriously, you absolutely need to expand the range.
The question now is where do you go after that?
The answer to that question can be answered by looking at where you are right now.
Let’s just say that you and your staff are black tea drinkers, if that is the case, don’t just go ballistic in purchasing herbal teas.
The reason behind this is that, it is going to be difficult for you, as black tea drinkers, to sell them convincingly.
Because you might not be so much into drinking herbal teas and when you sell them and when customer would ask you, “Hey, what does this tea taste like?” you would probably answer then, it taste herbal-ish, just like any other herbal tea.
Then, that might cause you a problem.
What we suggest is for you to start with something that you are familiar with, that you have bought in with your team, especially if they are the people who will do the selling for you. That helps!
Of course, training does matter.
You can do a meeting night where everybody will try a couple of tea, let them chat about it and just exchange some ideas.
You can also do a VIP night for your customers, so rather than just going totally freestyle, get them to actually fill in something.
When your VIP customer comes in, you can give them a survey form, nothing fancy or complicated, just a few simple questions and just let them tell you what they like.
You can also do a publicity gig such as fundraising and try to get some feedback from your local community.
You can also do publicity or marketing by means of your local newspaper.
The gist of it all is, it is always good to start with teas that you know and just add a little extra, like if you are familiar with black tea you might also consider to expand to green tea, just a couple of them.
You can start with the more robust tasting ones.
Or you can venture into herbals, such as Rooibos which is black tea like in terms of taste.
Just expand gradually and not throw everything on just one go!
Add new teas as you go along and make yourself familiar with the other teas.
There you have it, a little bit about how to expand your range.
If you’re a bit unsure as to what the next step is, Teas.com.au is here to help!
Just go and use our contact us form on the website and if you have any feedback, feel free to leave us a comment on this blog post.
We are looking forward into having another tea conversation with you! :)