From 14 years' experience working with food service customers, we understand just about every element of creating the perfect tea menu. Sometimes when we speak to customers about their tea menu, they will opt for a small number of herbal or fruit infusions, or perhaps some seasonal favourites, but there is still a reluctance to convert from using tea bags as their main black tea offering.

We know that making the switch to loose leaf doesn't happen overnight and some initial investment is required in terms of the necessary kit required to serve. In a busy coffee shop or restaurant, fast, seamless service is vital and everything you offer on your menu must work for you operationally. However, we're big advocates of adding value to a customer’s experience. We believe that by offering a quality tea menu that is on a par with the coffee menu and by considering how the tea is served and promoted in-house, you will be creating the wonderful sense of ritual and experience that loose leaf tea brings. This will help to encourage repeat purchases and visits from your customers. Therefore, we know that the lasting benefits of leading with a strong loose leaf black tea will far outweigh any initial investment or fears about the effects on service.

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We surveyed over 700 of our food service customers' tea sales and the results showed a 10% uplift in tea sales among those who opted to serve a loose leaf black tea as their lead offering. By offering a superior quality tea, these customers were able to charge more for the experience, so profits rose. They also reported a 50% increase in sales of their other loose leaf teas. This was due increased confidence to try loose leaf- if their trusted 'safe' black tea tasted great in loose leaf form then they were more curious and willing to try the seasonal specials, fruit or herbal loose teas.

Helping you Make the Conversion to Loose Leaf

We're always on hand to advise you on how to create the perfect tea menu and to help you on your way, we've provided some starter bundles that will help you make the move away from tea bags to loose leaf (various options are available based on the size of your premises).

 Challenging the Myths

Here are some of the common misconceptions we hear about leading with loose leaf tea as your main tea and our reasons why they shouldn’t be a concern.

Myth #1: Serving loose leaf tea is too expensive

Yes- it is true that loose leaf will cost a bit more to buy than tea bags, but the opportunity to charge a higher price and therefore gain much greater margins and profit per cup is much higher than with tea bags. This is due to the superior taste and quality of loose leaf and the sense of ritual and experience that it provides for drinkers. The following example shows the potential profit you can make on loose leaf tea-

Myth #2: Loose leaf tea creates a mess

There is very little mess with loose leaf tea- our food service bags are fully re-sealable and when weighed out with our handy Suki Tea scoop, the leaves go straight from bag to pot. Also, once the customer is finished with their tea, the loose leaves can go straight into the food waste- no need to separate tea leaves from the bag.

Myth #3:  Loose leaf takes too long to brew and customers don't want to wait

Customers wait every day for their coffee so tea should be no different. Loose leaf tea allows customers to become involved in the brewing process in a way that coffee does not. They get to experience the wonderful aromas while their tea is brewing as well as see the colour of the leaves so they become fully immersed in the ritual of a good cup of tea. They can also brew their tea exactly to their preference. This is not the case with coffee.

Myth #4: People aren’t really bothered about tea and are happy with the quality of teabags

Consumers today expect much more when they pay for their hot drinks and are willing to pay more for premium products. They are curious, well-travelled and are becoming more informed of options in tastes, flavours and food experiences, therefore are less willing to settle for a lesser quality hot drink experience. A lot of effort is invested in coffee menus and this should absolutely be mirrored in a tea menu.

To make the switch to loose leaf tea, contact us today on 028 9033 0938 or email trade@suki-tea.com to set up a meeting with our Sales Rep