We have been noticing and reviewing the Two Leaves and Bud Teas since their introduction a few years back. I saw them at a Specialty Coffee Association of America Annual Conference and was impressed with their selection and the quality of the cup. However, we were not interested in another tea line at that time, but kept abreast of their growth and development.
We believe that in the world of coffee and tea, our customers should have choices to enable them to develop their unique and distinctive menus. Thus, in 2008 we decided to carry the Two Leaves and a Bud tea line to offer our customers expanded options for the tea category of their menus.
Two Leaves starts with premium whole leaf teas and teasans to blend them producing a clear, exciting cup of tea in a sachet to offer a complete infusion of flavors into the cup. The varieties run the course from the basic black and green teas to more exotic flavor profiles like the pomegranate and acai berry teasan.
We have seen tea sales increase significantly among our customers of all sizes and in all markets. A lot of this can be attributed to better quality teas available at retailers and the increasing coverage of the health benefits of tea. In asking our customers about the uptick in tea sales, we have been told a big percentage of it comes from customers spending less money on more expensive drinks.
We also believe that our customers have to have creative, unique options for their customers. A product along this train of thought is the tea latte. We first saw this at a large national chain, and began to experiment ourselves with Two Leaves.
The basics of the tea latte are to prepare a cup of tea using 1/2 the amount of usual hot water. Steep for the required time and then remove the tea bag and cap off with frothed milk. Additional flavors can be added to the drink with honey, vanilla or honey vanilla syrups. This adds another flavor dimension to the drink.
We have enjoyed preparing the Two Leaves’ “Mountain High Chai” (honey is a great addition), “Assam Breakfast” ( I like using two tea bags for this one to give it a higher tea flavor or using less steamed milk. Some colleagues likes this with vanilla flavoring syrup, too), “Earl Grey” and finally Darjeeling for a more subtle cup. Soy milk works great in these drinks, too.
Some operators were pricing these drinks similar to a same sized cafe latte or specialty drink. This is a great way to upsell a tea drinker for an occasional treat and to increase your gross profit contribution. Tea drinks on your menu can be more than just hot water and a tea bag! Innovate and get creative using all the tools on your espresso bar to your advantage.
Also, for a limited time, from October 1 through November 15, Stockton Graham & Co. will be offering Buy One Case Get One FREE on all Two Leaves and a Bud products! Call 800.835.5943 to take advantage today!
Jeff Vojta, Co-Founder & CEO
Stockton Graham & Co.