Tea & Coffee focus: Have a brew...

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Fairtrade: With the continued rise in the popularity of Fairtrade tea and coffee, manufacturers have launched a number of new product lines to help...

Fairtrade: With the continued rise in the popularity of Fairtrade tea and coffee, manufacturers have launched a number of new product lines to help pubs capitalise on demand.

Brakes' four new lines include tea bags made with premium black tea grown on Fairtrade certified farms in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, and Fairtrade tea bag envelopes with tags.

Also new are Brakes Arriba Fairtrade coffee beans, and Arriba Fairtrade roast and ground coffee. The first of these is made using 100 per cent aribica beans from farms in Colombia and Costa Rica, and are suitable for espressos, cappuccinos and lattes. The second gives a similar taste but is a filter coffee.

Unilever Foodsolutions, owners of the Lipton brand, has also launched the first Rainforest Alliance-certified tea in the UK. Lipton Kericho Estate Tea represents the first time a major tea company has committed to introducing sustainably certified tea on such a large scale.

The Rainforest Alliance is an international organisation promoting sustainable standards in forestry, agriculture and tourism. To achieve the benchmark, Unilever had to satisfy requirements covering social and environmental managements systems, ecosystem conservation and working conditions on its East African tea estates.

Research​: One hundred and sixty-five million cups of tea are drunk every day in the UK, a survey by Tea.co.uk has shown. Part of the UK Tea Council, the organisation's research examined the total volume of tea drunk on one day in June. It estimated the market as being worth £529m.

Calculations by Twinings confirm that tea is a high margin product, relative to alcohol. It worked out that standard tea costs 10p per serving, based on the price of tea plus milk, sugar and hot water. With a recommended selling price of 99p this amounts to an 89 per cent margin. Green tea, taking out milk and sugar from the equation, costs 6p per serving and sells at a recommended price of £1.15, a 94 per cent margin.

Christmas​:Tea and coffee companies are gearing up to help licensees make the most of Christmas. Tetley is promising to reward pubs stocking its products this Christmas with a choice of retail vouchers for Argos and Marks & Spencer. For every two cases of 2x1,100s, or seven cases of 8x250s bought before November 9, Tetley will send the licensee a £10 voucher.

Bean-to-cup and filter coffee machines manufacturer Melitta System Services has come up with a list of coffee recipe suggestions to tempt customers with some trusty festive alcoholic drinks. Café Luz involves placing two spoons of sugar into a glass, filling it two-thirds full with freshly made coffee, and finally adding schnapps.

To make Copenhagen Coffee, fill a warmed glass with freshly made hot coffee and sugar to taste. Add a stick of cinnamon and a clove, and allow a little time for the flavour to diffuse. Carefully pour a shot of rum over the top using the back of a spoon, so as not to mix it with the coffee. Serve hot.

Packaging/takeaway​: A new triple-wall paper cup has been launched for pubs keen to offer takeaway tea and coffee. The product from packaging specialist Huhtamaki has one layer of paper more than standard takeaway cups, giving it greater insulating qualities so it is easier to handle. Available in a range of sizes, the cups feature integrated corrugated sleeves and sip-through lids.

Frecco Fruitease​: With an increasing number of people choosing to drink their tea without milk, Frecco has launched Fuitease, a fruit fusion which freezes fruit and hibiscus juice in an ice wedge. When hot water is added, the release of the aromas and flavours creates a premium hot drinkFrecco is releasing fruitease exclusively to the on-trade in two flavours: Lemon Ginger Zing - a classic combination of lemon, ginger, hibiscus, apple and rosehip; and Wild Berry Encounter - a soothing blend of redcurrant, raspberry, blackcurrant and hibiscus.

Energy efficiency​: Energy efficiency is increasingly being taken into account in new hot drinks catering machines. Manufacturer Burco has launched a range of manual fill safety boilers featuring thermostatic controls. The new boilers use less energy than previous models, which Burco says makes them environmentally friendly and also allows you to save money. According to the company, a boiler with an energy regulator costs approximately 39p per day to run. The new 20l thermostat-controlled version costs approximately 31p per day to run.

Another company in the market concerned with conserving energy is Modena. Its marketing director Michael Shaw says that, because water boilers are associated with high volumes of water, most tend to be high capacity machines. The disadvantage is that, where demand for hot water is constant, but not intensive, there is a lot of wasted energy in heating up far more water than is needed.

For this reason, Modena has a diminutive 10-litre water boiler in its range, "suitable for hotels and pubs away from city centres that often have a steady demand for pots of tea throughout the day".

Smoke ban​: "By making more of a feature of your hot drinks menu, you can tap into a number of new opportunities throughout the day," according to Paul Winters, Twinings channel leader, pubs and bars.

"Although the smoking ban represents a business challenge for the pub trade, it is also an opportunity to attract new custom and retain existing regulars through new initiatives," he says. "In order to capitalise on this change in legislation, pubs and bars need to act now to develop new revenue streams."

He points to the importance of branded merchandising around the bar to prompt customers to order tea, rather than lower-margin products. Offering a tea of the week, and displaying tea menus on tables and chalkboards are examples of how to do this.

Tea and food matching​: Wine and food matching is de rigeur, beer and food matching is a rising trend - but have you ever thought of tea and food matching? This is one of the ways that Paul Winters, Twinings channel leader for pubs and bars, suggests could help to boost the profile of the hot drinks in your pub.

"By trading customers up to have a snack, cake or sandwich with their tea, operators can raise the value of each transaction and build additional profit into each sale," he says."Why not offer meal deals, pairing teas with suitable food accompaniments to drive revenue?"

Wine expert Oz Clarke has linked up with Twinings to come up with a range of suggested matches, including:

  • Traditional English with an all day fry-up, or crumpets in the afternoon
  • Assam with a selection of muffins of cakes, or Irish stew
  • Darjeeling with spicy curry or fishcakes
  • Peppermint tea with chocolate desserts.

Tea week giveaway

Friday, October 19, is National Tea Break Day, an annual charity initiative raising money for Epilepsy Action. To encourage pubs to host a tea break of their own and raise money for charity, Typhoo is offering 10 readers the chance to bag some free tea, while one lucky winner will be able to 'tea-off' with Typhoo by winning £250 of golf vouchers.To be in with a chance of winning, email your details to suzi@proactivecommunications.co.uk. The closing date for entries is October 29, and usual terms and conditions apply.

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