Hi all tea lovers,
I am planning to open a tea house in London with retail side and also a sit down area. Apart from a wide selection of loose leaf teas and tea based drinks we are planning to serve cakes, pastries, sandwiches etc but can't decide if we should also offer coffee. Would we limit our market by offering tea only or would offering coffee just confuse the idea of the tea house? I have to add that there are already quite a few very decent coffee shops in the area we are planning to go to. Our second dilemma is the opening time- should it be more retail time ( 10AM) rather than coffee shop hours ( 7.30-8.00) or is worth to try to capture the morning/breakfast trade.
I would welcome all thoughts/ suggestions especially from the owners of exisitng tea houses- than you in advance.
Trends and Tips on developing and operating a tea business.
Keep it Simple... if you are specializing in loose tea, do that and do it well. I would offer coffee as an alternative... there are folks that don't like tea -gasp-. But I would only offer a couple coffee options (a decaf, light and dark). You might want to consider serving it in a coffee press, essentially you are speeping the coffee beans (that you would grind fresh). Your prep would almost be the same as a pot of tea (NA style). That would give the coffee drinkers an alternative, and you don't have to shell out the $ on a coffee machine.
Just my oppinion.
Just my oppinion.
I agree with virago_ns. I served coffee in my tea shop simply because I didn't want coffee drinkers taking my tea drinking customers to a coffee shop!!. Like V suggests, I offerred a decaf and a dark roast, the best I could get (also shade grown, organic, & Fair Trade. Do it right if you're going to do it) ground it fresh right into the french press and served it in the press, pressing it at the table. Customers loved it! and got about 3 cups for the price of a $tarbuck$ drink. I didn't expand into specialty coffee drinks even though some customers wanted it, because I was a "tea shop" and didn't want the noise and pace of a coffee shop.