Tea training can make your hospitality business even better. Here’s how.
You’re wandering around a new city. You think to yourself, “I could do with a tasty hot drink,” so you look around for some options. There are plenty of coffee shops, but what you really fancy is a perfectly brewed tea. The reality is you go into a cafe, order a black tea, and are presented with a sad-looking tea bag in a cup of hot water.
Coffee culture is something most of us are familiar with. In most cafes, you can get a decent cup of coffee made by a coffee barista but will be given something you could have made at home if you ask for tea. But things are starting to change: some of the top hospitality businesses in the UK are swapping PG Tips for carefully sourced loose-leaf teas.
There’s a huge opportunity for hospitality businesses to ride the wave of increasing tea popularity, offering customers a better selection and experience when it comes to ordering a cuppa. Read on to find out how to turn your business into a top-tier tea destination.
Tea vs. coffee in the hospitality industry
Brits love our tea. It’s well-known to be the nation’s favourite drink, with the UK as a whole enjoying 165 million cups of tea a day vs. 95 million of coffee. Yet despite our love for a good cuppa, more often than not we choose to grab a coffee when we’re out of the house. Because of this, most cafes and restaurants are well-versed in speciality coffee, investing in coffee baristas, coffee training and workshops.
Part of the reason we drink tea less often when we’re out is the perceived value for money. Most hospitality businesses offer the same tea their customers would brew at home but at a much higher price. Costa, for example, serves Twinings Tea at almost 20 times the price of a homemade cuppa (using the same bags). It’s no surprise, then, that only 29% of people think buying tea out of home is a good value option.
Tea drinkers want to experience the same thing coffee connoisseurs do — a beautifully made, delicious cup when they’re out and about. The choice of different flavours. Something unique they couldn’t easily make at home. For hospitality businesses, it feels like a wasted opportunity; introducing higher quality, artisanal teas could lure tea lovers away from their cup of joe.
Serving the right tea
Afternoon tea is having a resurgence. The tradition has been around since the 1800s in the UK, but it’s growing in popularity once again amongst Brits and tourists who are after a unique experience. In fact, more than 20% of us expect to find afternoon tea on the menu when we go out.
In top hotels and cafes alike, customers are offered delicate snacks and a range of tea options. But more often than not, these customers are tucking into artisanal, handmade pastries and sandwiches alongside budget Yorkshire tea. Considering 77% of Brits say that top-quality tea is an important factor when they choose an afternoon tea experience, this is a huge missed opportunity for hospitality businesses.
Upgrading your offering from the same tea bags your customers can buy in the supermarket to luxury, loose-leaf tea will instantly offer a more exciting experience. Some high-end hotels have already started to do this, placing more emphasis on the quality and taste of the tea itself. The Waldorf Hotel in London offers tea-tasting experiences, guided by their resident tea sommelier. The Ritz’s afternoon tea is complete with a selection of loose-leaf teas, chosen by their Tea Master.
You can go even further by picking the right tea to show your food off. Food pairing isn’t just for wine. Serving the right tea with a particular dish can amplify the flavours and tastes, making the whole experience more memorable and enjoyable, something our partners at The Marriott County Hall have put into practice.
We work with the team to offer an extensive, exclusive tea menu for their afternoon tea, as well as throughout the hotel. We’ve carefully chosen a range of blends, from rich, Sri Lankan black teas to fragrant Japanese Sencha, that complement the food, helping to elevate their guests’ experience. At the same time, the team has seen a massive increase in the demand for tea to take home from their customers, giving them a huge opportunity to upsell tourists and increase revenue through tea sales.
More and more establishments are noticing the need for a better focus on tea, allowing them to provide customers with a more luxurious, tasty, and better value experience. Why not join them with a new selection of carefully chosen, delicately flavoured, loose-leaf teas?
How to make the perfect cup of tea
We’ve all got our opinions on the best way to make a cuppa. But often, this only extends to whether you put the milk in before the tea bag or not. Hospitality businesses need to go further to make ordering tea a delight for customers.
Offering a tea experience your tea-loving customers can’t easily make for themselves at home means treating tea the same way you do coffee. Your staff need tea training, tea tasting, and tea workshops to get the knowledge they need to prepare the best cuppas. Think baristas but for tea.
First off, you need to get the technique right when it comes to preparing tea, especially loose-leaf varieties. There are lots of different factors to consider here, from water temperature to infusion time, so making sure your staff are trained to prepare the best possible cup is key.
At the same time, getting your staff to participate in tea workshops and tastings will teach them everything they need to know to help your customers choose their teas. As with coffee, each tea has its own story. Different regions produce different tastes, aromas, and varieties. With so many options, from black tea to herbal infusions, background knowledge is key to helping your customers find their favourite. Plus, you can start recommending the best tea pairings to make your food and drink work even better together.
How to get started with tea training for hospitalityLevelling up your tea offering represents a great opportunity for any hospitality business looking to deliver a little bit of luxury to guests.
If you’re ready to up your tea game, you’ll need a top-notch hospitality training course to help you get there. As well as offering a huge variety of tantalising tea blends, sourced from the best producers around the world, we have our own training programme to support you.
We can help your staff understand the differences between growing regions, the intricate details of each type of tea, the best way to brew, and more. Our tea training course will leave your staff confident in their tea knowledge, ready to help your customers find their new favourite brews, give them the best possible experience, and make the perfect cup of tea.
At the end of our course, your people will know their Earl Grey from their Lady Grey, be able to prepare the perfect cup of tea, whatever the customer orders, and be happy to recommend a brew based on dishes and customers’ preferences.
Take a look at some of our guides to get a flavour of what’s available as part of our training courses. Or why not give us a call and get your tea training journey started?