Tea News

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Meanwhile keep an eye out for guest blogs, industry insight and case studies.

New leaves for 2015

greenConsumers are becoming more nutritionally aware, with almost double claiming ‘health’ as an important factor in their food and drink choices between 1995 and 2012. At no point in the year is this more prominent than in January. 

Losing weight, getting fit and a enjoying a healthier diet tops the list of New Year’s resolutions. As customers make these lifestyle changes, foodservice operators will need to adapt their offer too.

Case study: Tea with a Difference at Pop’s Cafe

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Pop’s Café is pride of place on Maidstone’s High Street. With its art nouveau style curved glass window and door, it entices customers with its welcoming glow.

Although it looks like it could have been in situ for decades, Pop’s Café is in fact only a year old. Owner and manager, Aftab Rana started the business because he fell in love with the UK’s blossoming café culture, and thought he would bring a taste of it to Kent’s county town.

Making Time for Tetley at Thorpe Park Resort

Thorpe ParkThorpe Park Resort has joined forces with Tetley to provide guests with tea from a brand they know and love. 

More than 11,000 cups of Tetley tea have been sold at  the Resort this season. Due to this volume, Thorpe Park Resort has opted for Tetley Original One Cup packs – an economical solution which comes in sizes between 440 and 1540 teabags.  Samantha Tudor, Food and Beverage Manager says this is because it is the best way to provide a quick and efficient service to their guests.

“We  use a lot of tea throughout the year, and the peak period for our sales tends to be during the colder weather,” says Samantha. With the Resort open late into the night and in the chilly months of March and October, hot drinks are an essential part of the food and beverage offering.

For this reason, tea is sold in every Thorpe Park branded unit within the Resort. In the Thorpe Shark Hotel restaurant, Bar 360, Tetley Original is served in porcelain cups to accompany guests’ meals. At the kiosks, the emphasis is on takeaway tea.

A cup of Tetley Original to take away helps guests make time for Tetley during their action-packed day out. Heatproof cups with sip lids mean guests can grab a cuppa while they’re moving around the Resort, queuing for rides or enjoying the entertainment offering

Servingware with Style

TeawareAt half past three, everything stops for tea. So says the song, but actually tea is an enduring popular choice throughout the day and whether serving it to delegates at a conference, to customers in a café, or to those enjoying a celebratory high-end tea in a hotel, using the correct servingware is an important part of offering the best service. In fact, in its research Tetley found that the type of vessel tea is served in was the 6th most important factor to delivering a good cuppa. 

Nancy’s Vintage Teashop in Newmarket, Suffolk is typical of the growing number of ‘retro’ teashops opening across the country. Tea served vintage style is all about mismatched crockery and a quintessential British flavour.

An International Influence

Blog worldOur blenders have travelled around the world in search of the best tea, fruit and herbs for our infusions. Black tea made from the plant Camillia Sinesis is the most popular brew in Britain, although our tastes are evolving, inspired by infusions from other countries.

India
One of the biggest consumers of tea in the world, India is home to delicious Assam and Darjeeeling leaves. Generally, Indians love a milky, sugary tea, as the British who introduced the plant in the 19th Century influenced their tastes.

For a real Indian twist, brew a Tetley black tea bag with cardamom, cinnamon and a clove to give it a ‘chai’ flavour.

Case study: Brean Leisure Park

imagesBoasting a swimming complex, soft play area, golf course, bowling alley and funfair, Brean Leisure has something for everyone, and as a result has become one of the South West’s leading family destinations. To match the breadth of customers the holiday park appeals to, Brean wanted to have an extensive range of hot beverages to match.

With so much on offer, the Brean Leisure Park aims to maximise visitor spend by encouraging customers to spend the whole day in the venue. Excellent catering facilities ensure customers have no need to venture offsite in search of refreshment, and Tetley has helped the destination deliver this with its vast range of recognisable blends.

The 55,000 visitors each year are spoilt for choice by the catering offer which includes a pub-style outlet known as the ‘The Tavern’; restaurant ‘Big Al’s Grill and Bar’, and numerous other QSR outlets. Tetley is a central component of the hot beverages menu in each of these locations.

A Brief History of the Teabag

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Although it may seem humble, the teabag has a unique history. Following Tetley introducing it to the UK in 1953, this tiny invention came to alter the nation’s tea drinking habits forever. 

In 1908, Thomas Sullivan, a New York tea merchant, began shipping Indian and Chinese tea to his customers in little silk sample packages. Assuming they were meant to submerge the entire bag into the boiling water, his customers unintentionally changed the course of tea drinking for generations to come.

Following the popularity of Sullivan’s bags, the fabric was changed to gauze and commercial production began in the 1920s. World War Two slowed down teabag production and simultaneously its adaptation into daily life, however the 1950s saw them really take off. 

Learning the art of blending

Tea BlendingDid you know it takes at least five years to become a tea taster and, because no one tea crop is ever the same, it’s a continuous learning process?

Year one: as much slurping and spitting as possible! Recruits are trained to truly listen to their senses: taste, smell, sight and touch. They have weekly blind tastings (yes, literally blindfolded!), to start to identify the characteristics associated with the different tea origins.

Year two: shadowing a senior buyer on one of the two major tea origins: India or Africa. This year, it’s all about enhancing the ability to independently identify tea traits, follow global tea trends and be well versed in the 1,500 tea garden names! Year three: our recruits go global and spend 12 months at Tetley Towers, India or Africa. Meeting farmers, networking in the trade, bidding at auction and really getting to grips with the journey from crop to cup is the name of the game.

The Rainforest Alliance

frog treeTetley has committed to sourcing 100% of its tea from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms. We hope to help create a sustainable global tea market for the future, to guarantee prosperity for tea farms and fair prices for farmers.

Sustainability also offers serious benefits for operators. Alison Young from the Rainforest Alliance tells us more.

“With an ever-increasing demand to know where and how our food is sourced, combined with the fact that the earth’s resources are rapidly depleting, the ethical option is becoming more and more important not only for consumers, but also for the future of the environment and the livelihoods of farmers and their families around the world. For foodservice operators it therefore makes good business sense to give customers what they want, protect the future of the planet, and in the process, increase their bottom line.

“The tea industry itself is increasingly addressing social and environmental issues. For instance, of the 165 million cups drunk in the UK, 100 million of them come from tea gardens and estates that have achieved Rainforest Alliance certification. That’s 60 per cent of all the tea drunk in the UK. In fact almost 10 per cent of the global supply of black tea is from Rainforest Alliance Certified™ sources.

“The green frog seal that represents the Rainforest Alliance isn’t just another label. It represents a movement that is revolutionising the tea industry. The standard to which tea farms have to reach, and which is independently audited, is a truly sustainable standard. This means that the social, environmental and economic aspects of the farm is looked at and improved. The standard includes protecting forests, conserving rivers, soils and wildlife; and treating workers with respect, paying decent wages, providing proper equipment and ensuring access to schools and health centres.

Shortlist announced for Afternoon Tea Experience Awards

The Tetley blenders have been busy judging all the entries from the Café Life Afternoon Tea Experience Awards. The overwhelming response was packed with inspired entries, and after a tough contest, we’re pleased to announce a shortlist of the final five:

Afternoon Tea with Lemon Green Tea
Alexander Campbell, A Great Little Place

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This design includes Formby Asparagus and Herb Tartlets and Bergamot Scented Scones with Gooseberry and Elderflower Curd. It will be served at the Southport Flower Show, and the creator wanted the menu to reflect local produce and its gardens and growing project. Tetley Lemon Green Tea was seen to pair wonderfully with the sweet and savoury elements and serving it either hot or cold offered flexibility depending on the weather.

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