At Pluck we spend every day customizing tea programs for a wide range of customers – from cafes to restaurants, law firms, and one-of-a-kind tastemaker chef collaborations for the Visa Infinite Dining Series. We have a few tricks up our sleeves.
Building the ideal restaurant tea program is a bit more art than science, but once you have considered the following aspects of your unique establishment, it is really very simple.
For anyone interested in improving their restaurant tea program, it is important to take into consideration:
The type of food on the menu. A casual restaurant famed for its pizza should have a simpler and more accessible tea list than a fine dining room would.
For the casual restaurant tea program , I would lean heavy on iced tea options to leverage the craft iced tea trend, and provide some traditional hot teas such as Orange Pekoe of York, Earl Grey Cream, and Harvest Mint with a lemon ginger (CTRL+ALT+DEL) as a tummy settling, refreshing herbal.
For the fine dining room, a wider tea range featuring premium blends that offer flavour profiles that pair with the dessert menu and cocktail / 0% beverage programs would be ideal. How about our Sunset in Niagara, featuring cabernet franc and icewine grape skins from Southbrook Vineyards? Or Verbena Blues, a show – stopper of a blue tea that turns colour with a splash of lemon juice. This is also an opportunity to feature some premium direct – trade teas from our Founder’s Collection series, and charge a bit more for those options.
Service style. Is the establishment laid – back, high volume / fast turnover, old school traditional, or somewhere in between?
In a casual quick service environment, a teabag arriving to the table simply steeped in a cup of hot water may be perfectly ok. Traditional service? Time to break out those teapots and tea presses. We offer several options for restaurant tea service at Pluck.
Regardless of service style, there are a few simple rules to follow:
Equipment on site. Do you have a red tap coming off a coffee brewer, an espresso machine, or a multi – temp tower?
All of these options can work, and we can walk you through how to optimize your unique restaurant tea program to the equipment and service tools you have on site. Regardless of where your water is coming from, it is important to calibrate the equipment regularly to ensure you have water that is at least 195 degrees F. Lower water temperatures = less extraction. Be sure to use fresh water as water that has been re-boiled several times will not produce the most flavourful cup of tea.
Once you have considered all of the above, there are a few teas that every restaurant should have on their menu:
Once you have these five, select one more tea that expresses your menu’s signature style. Our tea box holds six or eight teas to allow for creativity as the seasons change.
Remember, tea is often the last thing your tea loving customers taste during their time in your restaurant, and it can leave a lasting impression (right before they pay the bill, decided on the tip, and make plans to return). Make it a great experience! We would love to help.