Not everyone likes coffee, but they still need a caffeine hit. Not everyone wants to drink hot chocolate, but they still want something to warm them from the inside out. If given the choice, some customers will choose freshly made, hot tea when given the option.

If you don’t already offer it, do some research. Test your customer base to see if it’s something they would consume if it was offered. See what competitors are doing. And look at your budget. If you discover you can make a profit, here’s what you’ll need:

1) Tea Brewers

Tea brewers are a lot like coffee machines. They come in an automatic, pourover, or manual design.

The automatic units require plumbing. They must be hooked up to a water supply, but once they are, they save time and labor. You’ll never have to manually fill them. They do cost more initially, but they ultimately save you money since they reduce time, water, and product waste. You can set some units for the amount you want to make and what temperatures you want the tea to be served at. It will do the work for you.

Tea Brewer

Pourover units can be placed anywhere a power supply is. They do not require a water hookup and cost less initially. They do, however, require employees to stop what they’re doing and refill the brewer with water every time a new batch needs to be made. This works well for medium-duty operations where tea is served regularly, but not in large quantities. If you serve a lot of tea, you will want to go with an automatic unit.

Manually operated tea brewers are best for applications that require portability. Manual units can be transported anywhere. They, however, should only be used for low-volume operations since they are the most labor extensive.

It should be noted that tea brewers are available in a variety of capacities. They can produce 3.5 to 36 gallons per hour or house 1.6 to 6 gallons in their reserve tanks.

They measure roughly anywhere between 9” to 13” wide and 20” to 23” deep. Most measure approximately 26” to 36” high. This permits them to fit snuggly atop your counter or drink bar.

2) Tea Dispensers

Tea dispensers can be hooked up to tea brewers. They fill with tea made by the brewer and have a handy dispenser spout located at their bottom. Just turn the knob or press a button to fill cups and mugs with hot, steaming tea.

Tea Dispenser

They can also be purchased with self-sustaining designs. These units do not require hookup to a brewer, but they will require you to manually fill them with tea before they can be used.

All tea dispensers have a 1.5 to 10 gallon capacity. Most are engineered from heavy-duty, durable stainless steel, but they can also be purchased with plastic constructions. The stainless-steel units have plastic tops and dispensing faucets. Many have handles attached to their sides for easy transport.

They are 13” to 17.5” deep and 21.5” to 23.13” high. Widths vary depending on whether you choose to invest in a “narrow” option or a “regular,” “standard” unit.

Every tea and coffee dispenser we currently have listed is NSF certified.

3) Accessories

For your tea-brewing operation, you can use your coffee machine accessories, such as your airpots, decanters, thermal servers, and pitchers. You can also use condiment bins to showcase sweeteners and stirring sticks.

A brand we recommend is Service Ideas. They offer urns, coffee and tea presses, decanters, beverage servers, thermal servers, airpots, carafes, and a wide range of other tea and coffee serving equipment. They come in a variety of shapes, colors, and styles so they are sure to meet your businesses' needs.

Serving tea is a unique opportunity to provide customers with a warm, healthy alternative to coffee, soft drinks, and other beverages. It can increase customer satisfaction and enhance their experience at your establishment. It can even be used to differentiate yourself from competitors.

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