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In most tea services today, a tea box or menu is used for presenting tea, but the consumer's tea
selection is often made by name recognition only. With the wide range of whole-leaf teas available
today, the Tea Butler Presentation Chest makes it possible for individuals to examine and select
teas based on color, texture, and aroma. The hardwood chests are simple, yet elegant, and the
presentation process dignifies the traditions of the tea ceremony that have evolved throughout
Tea Butler Presentation Chest: The Tea Butler presentation chest is made of beautiful hardwood
and has a series of see-through sparkling clear octagonal acrylic tea jars. Each chest contains one
set of loose-leaf tea selections. The chest has an attractive velour faced foam insert with
octagonal cutouts that hold the tea jars, while allowing them to be easily removed for closer
viewing. This allows the patron or guest to easily open the tea jar to examine the tea's texture,
color, make-up, and scent.
A tea plaque, located in the tea chest cover, has a detailed description of each tea, and each block
is aligned with its corresponding tea jar. The teas are organized by tea type to simplify the
presentation. For example, herbal caffeine-free teas are located on the left, black and flavored
black teas are in the middle, and green and flavored green teas are located on the right. The
plaque can easily be customized for each tea blend selection and can include individual or
organization names and/or logos.
Tea Butler Presentation Process: In a restaurant table service, for example, the server brings the
Tea Butler to the table, describes how the teas are organized on the tea plaque, and then goes
about other tasks while the patron takes a few minutes to read the descriptions, examine the teas,
and make their choice. There is no need for extensive training about the individual teas.
Tea Butler Benefits: The Tea Butler offers patrons an opportunity to explore new teas and make
an informed decision about their tea selection. Past experience has shown that patrons like it
because it is interesting and informative, and adds a pleasurable dimension to their dining
experience. Servers like it because it's simple to use and their patrons enjoy it. Restaurant
owners like it because the Tea Butler can be brought to the table with the dessert menu, thus
encouraging patrons to have dessert, after dinner beverages, or both. The added benefit for
owners is that their sales
generally double or triple in a product where gross margins are high.
Tea Butler Series Presentation Chests and Trays: The Tea Butler chests and trays come in a
variety of sizes in either maple or cherry. The beautiful hardwood products are stained mahogany
and varnished to produce an attractive display product. The presentation chests are available in 6
or 8 count maple; and 9 or 12 count cherry. The presentation tray is available in 6 or 8 count
maple. There are 12 standard plaques and tea sets for the maple and cherry chests, and 3
standard plaques and tea sets for the tea trays. Custom plaques and tea sets versions can be
implemented. Each of these products can be viewed with graphic detail on our website.
Specialty Teas and the Silken Tea Sachet: As interest in tea has grown, consumers are looking
for even more variety. Specialty teas are now the most interesting and fastest growing sector of
tea, and its growth is poised to continue over the next decade, according to the Tea Association of
the USA. A fitting definition of specialty tea is tea that has been specially cared for in ways that
allow the teas to achieve their highest level of quality. This care starts with the planting, cultivating,
and careful timing of when and how the tea is harvested, processed, packaged, and shipped. This
produces teas which are wonderful to taste, have great sensory appeal, are interesting to the eye,
and are soothing and relaxing to drink. This tea deserves a presentation that is as carefully
prepared as the tea it presents.
In the presence of such fine specialty teas, it became apparent that the ordinary tea bag, because
of its limited space for steeping, would not allow the full-leaf tea to brew to its full potential. To
meet this need, tea vendors began looking for alternative ways to package these full-leaf teas that
would be easy to use and attractive to consumers. Harney & Sons, one of the finest tea
companies in the world, offers a broad range of silken tea sachets that contains a generous
amount of pre-portioned loose leaf tea that provides a full two-cup teapot with a single sachet,
taking the guesswork out of brewing a wonderful pot of tea. The Tea Butler has partnered with
Harney & Sons to offer their fine teas to restaurants, resorts, and hotels, as well as for retail
customers at its online store.
Tea Butler Trays in Coffee Shops and Retail Locations: Traditionally, coffee shops have had a
captive audience, with little interest in serving any but the most basic teas. In recent years,
however, there has been a growing demand for healthier beverages and the interest in tea,
especially high-end specialty teas, has caught the interest of well known coffee chains such as the
West Coast chain, formerly known as the Coffee Bean, now renamed the Coffee Bean and Tea
Coffee shops of all sizes have a common problem: lack of display counter space. The Tea Butler
tray was designed specifically to meet this need. The trays are made of hardwood maple, and are
stained mahogany and varnished. They are longer and narrower than the tea chests, containing
one row of 8 sparkling clear octagonal acrylic tea jars and are uncovered. The tea description
plaque is placed on a beveled surface on the tray, in front of the tea jars, with each tea description
aligned with its tea sample. The trays are attractive, draw attention, and encourage patrons to
order specialty teas. Some shops are also selling Harney & Sons colorful retail 20-count tea
sachet tins as well. A stepped 8-tin rack fits nicely behind the tray, encouraging patrons to
purchase their favorite teas.
Conclusion: The presentation of tea doesn't need to be a blind, uninteresting process. With Tea
Butlers, it can be simple, yet elegant and informative, where both the presenter and their guests
can enjoy the process!
The author and owner of Espresso Fino, LLC is a wholesale distributor of tea and coffee products
that sells to the high-end foodservice sector, based in Gilbert, Arizona. It also owns and operates
an online store called Tea Butler, http://tiensshop.com/p27-TEATRAY.html where a full range of
specialty tea products are sold, including the Tea Butler brand teas and presentation tea selection
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