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.


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.

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