Tea Store/Shop Selling Coffee

Completely off the Topic of Tea

Tea Store/Shop Selling Coffee

Postby takchi11 » Apr 7th, '11, 08:20

As a business, it's great that the tea store/shop offers coffee to customers as an option but doesn't that defeats the purpose of its mission as a tea theme? Any thoughts? :roll:

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Re: Tea Store/Shop Selling Coffee

Postby tortoise » Apr 7th, '11, 11:16

yes, and no.

I've thought about this a great deal actually, and the main concern is the location of the operation and the types of tea you are hoping to sell/promote. I'm assuming that the proprietor of the teashop is hoping to make his/her living by the business. If they have other means of income, they can make their tea shop as boutique and exclusive as they'd like.

In the United States, unless you are in a major metropolitan market, you'd be foolish not to offer coffee in my opinion. No matter how passionate you are about tea, in business you are selling sprockets and widgets. That's it. And you have to sell enough of them to stay in business, because if you don't, who will know about the great tea you have anyway? I think offering coffee will at least allow someone not currently in to tea to experience the store and pique their curiosity. If the store is in a metropolitan market with diverse, educated, and cultured potential customers to pull from, a strictly tea operation would probably do fine. There are plenty of examples to site. But, try starting a gong fu and/or Japanese focused tea store in the rural South, and well, I'd be skeptical at best.

I'm not saying it can't be done, I just think that in a predominately coffee drinking nation, you'd do well to diversify your offering from a brick and mortar store location. But I don't think anyone could survive these days without a substantial internet business for their tea shop.

I have never owned a goods business, so don't take my opinion too seriously. Where there's a will, there's a way...I guess.

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Re: Tea Store/Shop Selling Coffee

Postby Chip » Apr 7th, '11, 22:27

I say nix the coffee. Coffee odors interfere with tea and can even get into the leaves.

There are zillions of places to get coffee, and so few places dedicated to tea.

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Re: Tea Store/Shop Selling Coffee

Postby Chasm » Apr 8th, '11, 08:38

I'm with Chip. Tea soaks up odors, and coffee should not be let near it.

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Re: Tea Store/Shop Selling Coffee

Postby tortoise » Apr 8th, '11, 08:56

Those are great points and the more I thought about it yesterday, the more I thought, if it's tea you want to specialize in, give up the crutch. Go for it all the way. Just make sure you sell GOOD tea.

Peddling coffee on the side won't make or break the business.

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Re: Tea Store/Shop Selling Coffee

Postby gingkoseto » Apr 8th, '11, 12:02

Well, if the owner call his store a cafe, and sells tea, then tea drinkers would think he is progressive, and everybody is happy :wink:
Currently in most cities, I don't think a brick and mortar tea shop without non-tea commodities can survive.

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Re: Tea Store/Shop Selling Coffee

Postby entropyembrace » Apr 8th, '11, 16:05

What I see most tea stores doing in North America is selling fruity flavoured teas, mixed drinks based on tea, boba tea, smoothies ect to keep sales up in areas where most people aren´t very interested in tea rather than selling coffee.

There´s the fact that tea absorbs flavours and aromas of stuff around it...and coffee has strong aromas. The other thing and probably the more important is that it takes a big investment in equipment and training plus sourcing lots of extra stuff to do coffee well and if you´re not going to take the coffee side seriously it´s probably not worth doing since there is plenty of competition.

If you have a coffee shop and want to include tea people actually will pay $2 or $3 to get a teabag in a paper cup of hot water. Try charging $2 to mix up a cup of instant coffee in a tea shop....I dont think anyone would go for it. :lol:

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