At Cuppa Cha HQ this week we have been debating whether we should be offering coffee in our Tea Shop. And if so, are we losing sight of our primary vision to promote good quality loose leaf tea? We are fortunate in Melbourne to be inundated with great cafes and coffee shops. But there is a real gap in the marketplace for service of high quality loose leaf tea for the tea consumers.
For the first two weeks in our new Camberwell store I have been offering coffee by AeroPress method. I feel it makes a smooth coffee without creating an overwhelming coffee aroma which would pull the focus away from the tea ambiance. However I am wondering if it would be better to completely remove coffee from our menu and instead seek to satisfy Melbournian’s coffee desires with our tea range offerings. This is a scary proposition as many customers walk into the store and order a latte or flat white before even realising they are in a Tea Shop.
What I would rather propose a classic Tung Ting Oolong tea or Massala Chai for the coffee drinkers who visit our Tea Shop. Tung Ting’s rich and toasty flavour makes it a favourite of coffee drinkers due to the tea’s baked nutty taste. Whereas Massala Chai offers consumers a milk based beverage where the Chai tea leaves and spices are infused in the milk and brought to the boil on the stove before serving. This is a method I learnt when I travelled to Nepal. Brewing the Chai through this method allows the milk to embody the full and complex flavours.
I would love to hear our blog readers’ thoughts. What is your expectation when you visit a Tea Shop or Tea House? Do you expect to find coffee? For the coffee drinkers, what is your favourite tea? Please feel free to leave your reply to this post on Facebook or as a comment at the end of this blog.