How To Serve and Sell Tea in Your Café, Coffee Shop, or Restaurant

sell tea in your coffee shop

Here are some important considerations while planning to sell tea in your store.

Determine the number of teas you would like to offer

The wider variety of tea you stock, the more customers you can satisfy. You can check out our best selling coffee shop teas or our best selling seasonal teas to help get you started. If you are a wholesale customer with us, we can help you build your selection.

Consider the meal periods, and what teas best suit your menu

Depending on your menu and meal periods, certain teas will work better than others for you. This is a personal process depending on your menu and preferences. Check out our article on food and tea parings to find out the best tea for your shop. If you are a wholesale customer with us, contact us for advice.

What will you serve the teas in?

Here are some ideal vessels for brewing tea

  • The French Press (14 or 32 ounce)
  • Iron Pots (11 ounce or larger)
  • Real Tea Pots, Brown Betty, Pottery and Porcelain, (3-4 cups minimum)
  • Tea Makers (20 ounces)

All these vessels make more than a cup at a time and also make a nice presentation. The 14-ounce French press makes 2 cups and the tea maker makes 20 ounces. Both items are extremely popular in the shops and restaurants because of the ease and convenience but in actuality they make an excellent cup of tea and that’s the key point when using quality tea. Replacement beakers are available for the 14, 32 and 40 ounce presses and tea makers. If you can have these available to sell, do it. Customers like to buy the exotic and unusual tea supplies, especially what they see the experts using.

Teapots are nice for sit-in customers who have time to relax. Many come with (set in) infusers or for those without, the filters work well or a tea ball on a chain. Have a nice assortment of teapots for sale (especially the ones you use) if your operation allows space. Your profits will elevate with more retail products available to the consumer. Remember, the customer is looking for a unique experience. You can provide this and increase your sale with tea accessories.

How to make tea

Measuring Teas (for To-Go and Sit-down Service):

Always use a teaspoon for measuring. Common rule of thumb for tea measuring is:

  • 1 teaspoon, level = a 6-8 oz. cup.
  • 1 heaping tsp. = 12 oz. Cup
  • 1 ½ -2 tsp. = 16-20 oz. Cup (will do 16-20 ounces)

Tea Yields

A pound of tea yields 200-225 cups of tea. 1 tsp. per cup, approximately 6-8 ounces

For detailed instructions, visit our how to brew tea page.

Will you be selling tea to go?

For to-go service, we suggest using paper tea filters (size 2 or 3 is best), which will make up to a large cup, 20 ounces. Test all your water sources for the exact temperatures of the hot water drip. Train your staff to use the proper amount of tea for the cup size (use a regular teaspoon for measuring) and the proper water temperature for each type offered. Have filters available for purchase by your customers. These are different and we find our retail customers love them. They are available in unbleached or hemp in a variety of sizes.

To-Go Filter Sizes:

  • Size 1, 100 box, individual box or 12 box/cs, makes 1 cup (6-8 oz.).
  • Size 2, 100 box, individual box or case, 10-12 oz. Or 2 cups
  • Size 3, 100 box individual box or 12/case, best for 12-20 oz. to-go cup
  • Size 4, 100 box, makes 12 cups for pitchers or larger containers

Where are your hot water sources?

Ideally, you will have hot water at 185°F for green, white, and oolong teas, and 212°F for black and herbal teas. Your hot water dispenser(s) should have enough capacity to give you hot water during your busy periods. Nothing’s worse than running out of hot water.

What would you like to store your teas in?

Ideally, you will want to store your teas in a sealed container, out of direct sunlight. Read our article on how to store loose leaf tea.

ALWAYS GET SAMPLES OF THE TEAS YOU ANTICIPATE SERVING

Have a savvy tea taster try them. Make the teas correctly or call and ask for directions (on each package/sample).

Selling Tea

Bulk sales are encouraged in shops where applicable as this is an untapped and ever growing market. In order to sell bulk tea, you will need something to package your teas in, preferrably with branding labels. You will also need an accurate scale to measure out your tea. It helps to have instructions on your labels to help customers who aren’t familiar with making loose leaf tea.

Best Selling Seasonal Organic Teas for Coffee Shops and Restaurants

Organic Seasonal Teas for Restaurant

Customers will appreciate a seasonal tea lineup. Whether it’s a floral reminder of spring, a refreshing summer cooler, a spicy autumn chai, or a decadent winter treat, a good seasonal tea will keep people coming back for more. Here are some ideas for our organic wholesale tea clients to get your seasonal organic selection going:

Spring

Summer

Fall

Winter

Best Selling Coffee Shop/Restaurant Organic Teas

best selling restaurant teas

So you want to sell organic tea in your coffee shop or restaurant? We recommend starting with the best selling teas. Most of these are what we call classic/basic starter teas. For advice on what teas fit best for your menu, you can request a wholesale account with us and we can help you get your selection started.

Important Questions to Ask your Organic Tea Wholesaler

Organic Wholesale Tea Blend

When you sell organic loose leaf tea, it’s important to have a good relationship with your organic tea vendor. Here are some crucial questions to ask before purchasing your organic teas with your tea vendors.

Are they Certified Organic?

Did you know that you could be fined for labeling a food as organic when it isn’t? Make sure to ask your tea vendor about their organic certification. Not all organic labels are created equal, use the right label for the right type of certification. All teas at Divinitea are certified USDA Organic.

Are they providing you with the selection and variety you need?

Customers like variety. You’ll want to offer a selection to satisfy a wide range of palates. Be sure that your vendor can provide you with a range of teas to refresh your tea selection from time to time.

At Divinitea, we offer our wholesale clients over 300 blends of certified organic teas to choose from.

Are they fresh?

A tea can sound great on paper, but if it isn’t fresh, it just won’t taste good, and that can hurt your reputation. Make sure to ask how long your tea vendor keeps teas on the shelf. At Divinitea, we order our bulk ingredients in smaller quantities and blend everything to order. We do this for two reasons. 1. We don’t have a huge warehouse; we have limited space to do our blending, so we keep inventory low. 2. We want to keep everything as fresh as possible. We only order what we will go through from month to month. We guarantee the finest quality and fresh sourced herbs and teas.

Can you get the samples you need?

You can’t really know what kind of tea you want until you try it. A good tea vendor will offer samples so you can find out what you would like to carry. At Divinitea, we offer all our wholesale clients free samples upon request.

How long does it take to get your teas?

To do proper inventory on teas, you have to factor in how long it takes to get your tea once your order is placed. Whatever you have in stock should last until you get your new order in. Tea inventory is more of an art than a science. It will take a little time, but you’ll get the hang of it!

At Divinitea, we ship all our wholesale orders via UPS, usually within 1-2 business days of receiving the order.

Do you get information about the teas?

It’s hard to sell a tea if you don’t know anything about it. A good tea vendor will offer descriptions of their blends. At Divinitea, our wholesale customers have special access to our staff by email or phone whenever they need descriptions of our teas.

Can your blender do a custom blend for your establishment?

It’s nice to know that if you can’t find a specific tea, you can have one custom blended for you. Unfortunately, not many organic tea vendors will make a blend for you.

Because we blend teas to order, we can accommodate special requests. If we don’t carry a tea you’re looking for, we can make a custom blend for you, please note that if we special order ingredients, there is a 10 lb minimum order.

Can you resell these teas with your name on them?

In case you want to label teas under your own name, it’s important to understand the rules first.

When you purchase from Divinitea, you can label teas under your own name, but please note that due to USDA regulations, if your business is not certified organic, you may not put the word “Organic” in the name of the tea, though you may mark the ingredients in the tea as organic.

Top Five Fall Organic Teas

top fall teas

The first fall chill is in the air. As the autumn leaves begin to turn, sit in front of your favorite window with a tall mug of our best recommended seasonal organic teas:

Organic Pumpkin Spice:

A full bodied black tea base with cinnamon, ginger, orange peel, and clove. A great way to warm up on a cold day. Try with a splash of milk and sugar.

Poached Pear:

Reminiscent of a freshly poached pear, simmered in cinnamon, vanilla, and clove. This organic green and white tea blend will invigorate the senses.

Apple Strudel:

Reminiscent of a freshly baked apple strudel with a flaky crust, sweet apple filling, and cinnamon. Our organic Apple Strudel tea has a vanilla black tea base, with apple, cinnamon, and rosehips. It’s a guiltless dessert in a cup!

Cranberry Apple:

Addictive tart fruity notes of cranberry and apple with piquant flavors of hibiscus. Tasty hot or iced. Naturally caffeine free organic blend, full of antioxidants.

Cinnamon Vanilla Rooibos:

The smooth, full bodied flavor of organic rooibos with silky flavors of vanilla and spicy notes of cinnamon. Dessert in a cup! Naturally caffeine free, full of antioxidants.

Top Ten Iced Teas: Divinitea

Teas for summer

Looking for a fantastic iced tea this summer? Browse our organic iced tea category for the right tea for you. If you’re still having trouble, or would just like to know what our best selling iced teas are, check out our top ten iced teas:

1. Organic Moroccan Mint (Green Tea)

Our most popular iced tea, Moroccan mint is a cool and refreshing organic Chinese green tea with organic spearmint. Great for cleaning the palate and for digestion. This tea has a wonderful crisp and cool feeling that satisfies on a hot day!

2. Organic Nilgiri Black Tea

For those looking for a “plain” black tea, this is it. Our Organic Nilgiri is dark and aromatic, with a crisp, clean flavor. It makes a fantastic iced tea that never clouds.

4. Organic Summer Thyme (Black Tea)

All the flavors of a warm summer day. Sweet fruits enhanced with the complexity of lemon thyme. Very Aromatic!

4. Organic Tropical Greens (Green Tea)

An organic green tea with pineapple, passion fruit, and mango. The tropical fruit really comes out in this tea. Very refreshing.

5. Organic Raspberry Lemon Mint (Herbal)

A satisfying organic herbal blend with flavors of red raspberry, piquant notes of lemon, and a cooling taste of mint. Organic rooibos and red raspberry leaf give a pleasantly smooth and sweet body. Naturally caffeine free. Full of antioxidants.

6. Organic Tiki Tea (Black Tea)

An enticing organic black tea blend of coconut, lime, and lemongrass. Smooth and mildly tart. Makes an excellent iced tea.

7. Organic Hibiscus Lime Cooler (Herbal)

A smooth and sweet organic rooibos blend with tart flavors of lime and hibiscus. Naturally caffeine free. Full of antioxidants. Tart and sweet with a lingering smoothness.

8. Organic Pomegranate White (White Tea)

A smooth and delicate organic white tea with luscious flavors of pomegranate. This is a light bodied iced tea with a lingering spring freshness.

9. Organic Black Currant Tea (Black Tea)

A bright and fruity cup, with flavors of fresh-picked black currants. An organic loose leaf black tea accentuated with organic black currant leaf.

10. Organic Raspberry Apple(Herbal)

A deliciously fruity and tart organic herbal infusion, with rich flavors of raspberry, apple, tart notes of hibiscus, and balanced with flavors of rose hips and blackberry leaf. Naturally caffeine free, rich in antioxidants.