‘“The importance of tea in gastronomy will increase not only as the perfect non-alcoholic option, but the tea ceremony along with the storytelling part of tea is what captivates me: the various tea families and amazing single origins that come on the market in small batches.”
How to Create a Tea Menu
Diner's expectations and appetite for knowledge around sourcing, origin and taste profile are on the increase, which means restaurants have to deliver when it comes to offering the best.
We regularly create bespoke tea menus for our clients – from a boutique hotel in Paris pairing teas with a range of patisserie, to a group of five star hotels seeking advice on a rare and seasonal tea menu.
For those looking to enhance their guests’ tea-drinking experience and get the best out of their tea service, here are 7-tips for creating a tea menu:
Keep it short.
The variety of teas is immense but keep a simple tea list with three or four permanent teas and rotate some seasonal or special teas every few months to keep it fresh.
Create the right balance.
Green and herbal teas are driving the move away from traditional black tea served with milk, but you still need to keep some traditional options for customers. We suggest the following selection: Assam Breakfast, Earl Grey, Green, Premium Green, Oolong or other speciality and two different types of herbal teas.
Offer teas at different price points.
Maximise the margin made on each type of tea and guide customer interest towards premium, rare and seasonal teas. In a five-star hotel context, pricing ranging from 5 per cup for an excellent daily drinking green to 15 for a special oolong such as Wuyi Big Red Rober offers plenty of opportunity for upsell and higher margins.
Create a menu that gives people an opportunity to try an amazing example of a comforting classic and then take the steps to explore the world of tea. Usually this is through flvaours that people already understand such as floral, grassy, smoky or woody.
Make it seasonal.
At an establishment where tea is understood and where guests are open to trying more refined flavours, offer a short tea menu of seasonal specials that really reflect the tea origins and seasons. This might mean adding refreshing spring Chinese green teas in April and May, or warming roasted oolongs from Taiwan’s winter crop in October/November, where the taste profile of the tea matches the seasonal climate.
Give the option of making premium teas with mineral water for a surcharge. Highlight what temperature each tea is made at and how this affects the flavour profile of certain teas.
Train staff to promote your offering.
There is little point simply asking the customer what tea they want as the answer will most likely be something simple such as ‘breakfast or green tea’. To encourage them to try one of your carefully selected teas, either train waiting staff to talk through the options or always present the menu before taking the order.
Cold Infused Tea
While some like it hot, did you know that tea is also wonderful served as a cold infusion? Prepare for hot summer days, as a palate cleanser in between courses, or even mixed carefully with a cocktail for stunning results.
It works beautifully with a broad variety of our teas. From fresh, sweet greens, to fragrant Earl Grey.
Read our 'Cold Infusions Guide' now.
Get the best from your tea leaves
Loose tea leaves need space to move around the pot to open and unfurl fully to get the optimum flavour extraction and balance.
Did you know that a metal pot, while good-looking, actually taints the taste of your tea, too?
Are you fully decanting the tea each time you serve?
Read our 'How to Master Tea Guide' and serve tea at its very best.
Keep it Fresh
Keeping tea fresh and retaining its delicious flavour is an essential part of enjoying tea. Knowing how to store tea to avoid losing its freshness, however, is often forgotten by tea drinkers. Getting the very best of your tea leaves starts with storing it well.
Do you know the enemies of freshness? Is your tea as delicious as it was when it was picked?
Read our 'How to Store Tea Guide' to keep your tea tip-top.