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John Delaney

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  1. Yes, I had some loose leaf Earl Grey iced tea today. I also plan to have some Ceylon tea later on as well. In fact, I used some White Tea last month that worked out pretty well also.
  2. This is sound advice for tea storage. The one thing I might add is to keep your tea's separated in different tins. It may not be economical for them to all have separate tins but you should at least have a tin for each kind (Black, green, oolong, etc.). This will help reduce the risk that the strongers flavors of some teas will contaminate the more delicate kinds of teas.
  3. It depends on the day for me but usually around 4 to 6 cups of tea.
  4. I think what you said here is very accurate. However, I will say that we do drink a lot of iced tea in the US especially in the South. However, it is like 5 times the amount of loose leaf tea that is drunk which is the problem. People in the US don't really know about loose leaf tea like they do coffee. But I think this trend can and will change over time. For the longest time, coffee only meant Sanka and Folgers to the people in the US until around the 80s or 90s and then things changed in a hurry. I think the tea industry can grow in the US for the reasons you mentioned. I believe the baby boomers will love to hear about the health benefits and segments of the millenials will like the idea of learning about different tea cultures and the exotic qualities of tea. Everything rises and falls over time and I believe tea is due for a comeback. Tea was actually more popular than coffee in the US prior to the Revolutionary War and even Starbucks has bought 2 tea companies now.
  5. Although tea is the second most popular drink worldwide, it is about the 6th most popular in the US whereas coffee is #2 in the US. So that is why more coffee is being served than tea. However, it is also true that coffee consumption is going down each year and tea consumption is going up in the US. I can't remember the exact numbers but coffee is around 23% and dropping and tea is at 9% and climbing. Now, to your question, 1. Selling coffee and tea at the same place is problematic because the smell of coffee negatively impacts tea. The reason is that coffee has stronger smells and tea is delicate so selling the two in the same place creates a quality control issue. This is why you should not store your tea near your coffee at home or near other strong odors like onions. When I hear about a tea and coffee place, I have the belief that such a place will not serve good tea from the outset. 2. Don't reinvent the wheel. See what tea shops are working and see if that same plan could work in your area. For example, Samovar Tea Lounge in San Francisco seems to do well. However, it also fits its environment. You would need to see if something similar could work for you. My guess is that tea shops would likely work best in areas where there are large immigrant bases that enjoy tea and that you could tap into at least a little. I should also mention that at Samovar, they recommend Pu-er to customers who are looking for coffee. They don't serve coffee. 3. Consider bubble tea as an option. Those type of tea stores and tea drinks are popping up everywhere and are very popular. They don't require the same level of sophistication and education of a full blown tea shop and the American crowd loves them. 4. If you still go with a full blown tea shop, expect to spend a lot of time on educating your audience. A lot of people like the idea of drinking tea but don't know much about tea beyond iced tea from Lipton and Luzianne. You will need to be their guide and show they way with a lot of hand holding. This is a big departure from coffee shops where the battle was fought years ago by others. As far as what would get people to buy tea, that is the million dollar question. The current increase in tea consumption appears to be occuring because of perceived health benefits and I would expect that to continue to grow as more medical research is done. The other part is like another poster mentioned is that interest in other cultures can play a big role as tea has the advantage of being the exotic drink compared to coffee here in the US. People are always curious about the other thing and the history of tea is appealing to some people who like history and a good story. I think tea does well with the tech crowd for this reason. Finally, nothing is wrong with tea. It is great stuff and people should drink more of it, especially good quality loose leaf tea.
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