Setting up a tea room

Should I set up a Tea Shop or Tea Room?

There are many similarities in the way a tea room and a coffee shop function therefore the guidance contained on this website will equally apply to the tea room. Most coffee shops sell tea and almost all tea rooms you will be able to get a coffee of some description. The emphasis and sales for each business will vary. Tea rooms have become very fashionable and popular in recent years particularly with the rise of popularity of vintage ware. I’m aware of a number of very successful vintage themed tea rooms where the emphasis in terms of drinks is selling specialist tea products.

The advantage of a tea room is that you don’t have the expense of necessarily having to purchase a very expensive coffee machine which will often cost several thousand of pounds. On the flip side most specialist tea rooms will elect for loose leaf tea which means that they will require a large number of tea pots to brew their loose leaf tea in ready to be poured. Tea pots are quite delicate as is the china cups and saucers that go with them. They tend to get broken and replacing them can be expensive. You will need to factor breakages into your tea shop set up costings particularly if you are looking to purchase high end china tea cups and saucers.

What are the differences between black and green teas?

You are probably aware that tea comes generally in 2 forms: black and green tea so what’s the difference?

In essence both green and black tea come from the same tea bush Camellia Sinensis so the colour doesn’t derive from differences in their origins. The difference in colour for tea comes instead from the way they are finished after being picked. Green tea is made from leaves that once picked are simply steamed and dried soon after harvest. Black tea on the other hand come from tea leaves that are dried and crushed. This allows some of the naturally occurring enzymes catechins of green tea to more complex forms known as theaflavins and thearubigens. These compounds are responsible for the characteristic colour and flavours of black tea and are also the health giving antioxidants.

Tea in numbers

  • 165 billion cups of tea drunk daily in the UK
  • 5000 years is the time since the drink of tea was created in China
  • 4 cups of tea a day is seen as giving you optimal health benefits
  • 40% approximately of the nation’s fluid intake today will be tea
  • 0 is the number of calories in tea without milk
  • 13 is the calorific content per cup of tea using semi-skimmed milk
  • 4 cups of tea will provide 21% of the daily calcium requirement

Types of tea

In the UK we have a massive heritage of tea consumption and Tea shops become popular in the Uk in the Victorian times as coffee shop popularity waned as they were considered to be a little vulgar. If you are looking at setting up a tea room then you will have to become a expert in the varieties and flavours of speciality teas. I have included a very brief outline of some of the types of loose leaf tea out there and their characteristics.

Some useful tea contacts

Tea Advisory Panel

Tea Council

UK Tea Academy

Northern Tea Merchants

Sign up for a Setting Up A Tea Room Course

Book Set Up Course