Novus Tea helps licensed operators innovate their tea offer.           Allan Pirret, Sales Director of Novus Tea, explains the importance of innovation in hot beverages, and shows how licensed trade operators can benefit by making premium teas and infusions a key part of their offer.

Tea is still the UK’s most popular hot drink and, with healthy credentials, nutritional benefits and lower caffeine than coffee, tea is the preferred drink for a less caffeine-fuelled day.  Sales figures are excellent too; premium tea sales are set to double over the next ten years (according to Mintel) and sales of healthier green and herbal teas have already doubled in the past two years.


This growing speciality tea market is a fantastic opportunity for operators to drive sales and profitability by introducing a range of high quality, whole leaf teas into their menu.  Premium leaf teas create a premium tea experience, driving repeat business and transforming volumes.  For the licensed trade, this can be particularly helpful in producing revenue from the traditionally quieter times of the day such as breakfast, mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

To take advantage of this surge in demand for tea and infusions, it’s important for operators to team-up with a market-leading, premium brand capable of delivering the quality, taste and support that customers expect.  Innovation in hot beverages is vital to meet the fast-moving, ever-changing consumer trends.  In tea, this represents a move away from ‘standard’ teabags towards more premium products which offer better tasting, more interesting and perhaps healthier alternatives.  These choices include green teas, fruit and herbal teas, speciality blends and matcha, sales of which are growing more strongly than ever.

Effective presentation and promotion of your tea offer is also important.  Equipment-wise, operators should always try to add ‘theatre’ to their tea offer to demonstrate that customers are getting great value.  So, when serving tea, it’s a good idea to present a clear teapot to your customers with an hour-glass tea timer alongside to ensure the tea is always brewed to perfection.  It also adds the all-important sense of theatre and gives the customer ‘ownership’ of their beverage; they can vary the infusion time according to their own taste preference.

Other equipment allows the effective promotion of your premium tea offering and it’s important that this conveys a sense of quality and value.  Equipment such as tea chests are an excellent way of presenting your tea range, as are leaf display boxes which allow customers to see the whole leaf teas before they buy.  Other promotional opportunities include table talkers, posters and loyalty cards.

In addition to the equipment you choose, you’ll also need to make sure your staff are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about your tea offer.  In the same way as a barista would know their coffee, in order to effectively up-sell and premiumise your tea offering, your staff need to understand origin, appreciate the different tastes and value the correct serving methods.

Your supplier should be able to offer appropriate in-depth training and product support, as well as manuals for future reference and reinforcement.  Business development sessions should also be available from your supplier to help you maximise your opportunities.