Storm in a Teacup is a specialty tea company whose aim to enhance the tea experience throughout Australia. To achieve this, part of what we do is wholesale our tea to establishments with their attention on excellence and who realise an outstanding tea service will bring them and their customers great benefit.
Please read the following to get an understanding of Storm in a Teacup as a company and our requirements and expectations of businesses that serve our tea.
This information will also be very useful to businesses who wish to retail our tea as it gives a good general introduction to the world of specialty tea and how it should be brewed. You will get an idea of if you think our specialty tea will be a great product within your offering.
STORM IN A TEACUP
Storm in a Teacup has been wholesaling specialty tea since we began in 2011. As of 2016 we have over 100 establishments throughout Australia who serve our teas as part of their stellar menus. We are proud of the partnerships we create and how we integrate high quality, perfectly brewed tea into these offerings.
We have 5 basic requirements that must be adhered to in order to serve our teas. They might seem like big changes to some of you, but if your interest is in offering your customers a heightened experience and representing your business well, they are the starting point for great tea. For others the requirements will already be met and our tea will simply slip into your existing streamlined systems.
OUR FIVE REQUIREMENTS
- All tea is made with filtered water
- You will not use teapots with wire mesh baskets or tea balls.
- You measure time and temperature for every brew.
- All teas are strained before they reach the customer.
- Every barista knows the 9-steps to Brewing Great Tea off by heart.
Once you have read this page and you feel you will be able to implement our requirements, please send us an email through our contact page and tell us a little about yourself: what is your business is about? Where you are located? What service do you with to offer and where you see tea fitting into that?
To find out why we have these requirements please read the following:
GREEN, BLACK, WHITE, OOLONG OR HERBAL?
All tea is made from one shrubby evergreen, the Camellia Sinensis. It has two main varietals: Camellia Sinensis Sinensis originating in China and Camellia Sinensis Assamica from the Assam region in the north of India. The Sinensis Sinensis varietal has bright, complex and delicate characteristics. Sinensis Assamica has dark, malty, earthy characteristics. The difference between them is a little like red and white grapes in wine making, same-same but different. In use however they are much more like Arabica and Robusta coffee varietals. They both have value, one is generally more prized than the other however there are always high quality growers and makers that produce exceptions to the rule.
Shiny, green leaves are harvested from the plant regularly to encourage growth throughout the season. The top two leaves plus the bud, (or tip) generally make the finest grade. The vibrant flavours of the first growth (or flush) of the season are especially prized, with many producers only using this harvest.
The short, intense growing season of high altitudes improves flavour even further, adding an ethereal element, hence the sublime taste of First Flush Darjeeling and renowned teas from the high slopes of Nantou province in Taiwan.
All tea leaves are picked green it is the manner of processing, that determines whether the tea becomes black, green, white or oolong.
For black tea the leaves are withered and rolled to damage the leaf; this enables oxidization, which deepens the flavour, producing the characteristic taste and colour, then the leaves are fired with hot air, removing 96-97% of moisture to stabilise them.
Green tea is characterised by the sappy, sweetness and amino acid content of the fresh, green leaves of which it is comprised, these leaves are steamed or wok-fired as soon as possible after picking (within 2 hours) to prevent oxidization, they are then shaped and dry heated to remove moisture and stabilise.
Oolong or Semi Oxidised tea is part way between black and green, with oxidization produced via withering for a few hours, followed by firing to stabilise and shaping to control brew rates. This partial oxidization imbues oolong with both the freshness of green tea and the subtlety and maturity of black, often with a depth of flavour that surpasses them both.
White tea is both rare and precious as the tips and very young leaves must be handpicked and then softly dried to produce a pale, delicate infusion.
A tisane is a herbal infusion. Peppermint, Lemongrass, Hibiscus, Lemon Myrtle, Chrysanthemum etc. Leaves, stems, roots, seeds, peel and all the various parts of thousands of dried plants steeped in water to create an infusion.
Tea is technically a tisane but tisanes are not necessarily tea, as they don’t come from the Camellia Sinensis plant.
IS STORM IN A TEACUP TEA ORGANIC?
Wherever possible Storm in a Teacup sources organic tea. We believe strongly in sustainability on all levels so we do this for the health of the planet and the workers on the tea farms as much as for the benefit of our customers.
We stock around 40 specialty teas that represent many of the major styles of tea and tisane available. It is important to us to keep this range broad. Sometimes we are unable to find a sufficient organic tea so we select one where there has been an absolute minimum of chemicals used on the farm and we will source that until we can find a suitable organic replacement.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE TO BREW THE PERFECT CUP OF TEA EVERY-TIME.
There are 9 simple steps to brewing consistently great tea. They are all adaptable to each individual set up.
A calm and centred person makes the best tea. Having the right set up, knowing this process by heart and knowing there is the security of each individual tea’s brew guide written on each container creates the perfect state of mind for your barista to make delicious tea every time.
The biggest change for most establishments is: Storm in a Teacup teas all need to be brewed at the bar and leaf must be removed before the tea gets to the customer. You would never ask a customer to steam their own milk so why expect them to brew their own tea? Teapots going out to tables with leaf still brewing in them is an incomplete beverage that will generally be too weak for the first cup and by the time they get to their second, way too strong. Brew tea with a timer at your counter then decant into either a service pot or, as we prefer, straight into the drinking vessel.
Step 1: Get out the tea and scan the instructions.
You will find the specific brewing guidelines for each tea on the inside lid of the jar. The moving parameters are; amount of tea, brew time and water temperature. Familiarise yourself with this.
Step 2: Heat your water.
Program your kettle to begin heating the water to the required temperature.
Step 3: Warm your pot.
Get out a pot and fill it 1/3 with hot water. The temperature doesn’t need to be exact, this is just to take the chill out of the pot so your water doesn’t cool too much during the brew time. Swill it around a few times and pour it out.
Step 4: Measure your tea.
You will measure amount of tea with scales or teaspoons depending on your set-up. Place the correct amount of tea in the warm pot.
Step 5: Pour in the water.
By now your water should have reached the desired temperature. Carefully pour the correct amount water into the pot. If your kettle allows, pour the water at a similar angle to how you steam milk, the spiral created disperses the tea perfectly throughout the water. Immediately place on the lid.
Step 6: Set your timer and put the tea away.
As soon as you have put the lid on the pot, set your timer to the required time (Found on the inside lid of the tea jar/tin) Or better yet, as you become familiar with making tea in this way, set the timer as you are filling the pot.
Then put the tea back in it’s pace. (A clean, clear workspace makes everybody feel good)
Step 7: Warm the service vessel.
Get out the drinking vessel and service pot if you use one and pour some hot water into them.
As your timer is set and everything is ready for you to pour out the tea when it is perfect, you are now free to do other things.
Step 8: Decant the tea.
As soon as the timer goes off discard the warming water from the service vessel then carefully and with love pour out the tea you have brewed so beautifully.
This might sound like hippy shit but tea is a very subtle and sensitive thing. You can always taste tea made by someone who loved it and you can taste the anxiety in tea made by someone in a rush with no care.
Make sure you turn the timer off as soon as you can, the incessant beeping does not induce calm and happy in your customers or fellow staff.
Some venues like to serve the wet leaf in a little dish with the tea on a tray. If this is you, go for your life.
The tea is now ready to be taken to the customer.
Step 9: Remove the leaf & store the pot.
If there is still wet leaf in your pot remove it according to your system discussed on page….. Give the pot a rinse and set it away.
Congratulations- you have now made a beautiful cup of tea according to the system that works. Follow it every time and you will always make great tea!
This might seem like a lot to do and hard to achieve in rush periods or at all if it is consistently busy in your establishment. But a well practiced barista can bring a centred calm to any situation. Once this process is established it flows like water, happens much faster than you think and is actually a pleasure not a pain. Tea making is moments of centred calm amongst the chaos.
EQUIPMENT REQUIRED TO SERVE STORM IN A TEACUP TEA.
Having run our tea bar in Collingwood we understand all too well the financial pressures of operating a hospitality business. We believe the money is better off with the owner and in paying your loyal staff a better wage than invested in unnecessary and expensive equipment.
Also when you compare the sum invested in coffee machines et al against some good teapots and a decent kettle, you will see tea is not a massive investment yet it is a vital part of your business.
That being said tea is a boutique product and should be prepared and presented in a way that honours the tea, your business and the customer’s experience.
So the key here is looking at how you want tea situated in your business and how you want the customers and your staff to interact with it.
You will need:
- Filtered water.
- Kettle or Urn & Kettle
- Good Teapots (no wire baskets)
- Scales or uniform sized teaspoons
- Tea specific cups
- Teapot cleaning system.
- Teapot drying system.
REASONS TO IMPROVE YOUR TEA SERVICE:
- Tea is a delicious and healthy beverage that uplifts people while calming them down. The magical combination of caffine and theanine (the calming compound in tea) relaxes people and generally makes them nicer and happier
- Paper teabags are the equivalent of Nescafe or cask wine, the slightly fancier pyramid bags are Nespresso. They are no longer sufficient in a sophisticated hospitality establishment.
- Tea drinkers are loyal and if they know you stock and brew great tea they will stick by you.
- Coffee drinkers often turn into tea drinkers in the afternoon.
- Tea has a higher profit margin than coffee.
- Tea lasts in a hospitality environment for 6 months, it doesn’t have to be ordered every week.
- In a restaurant and bar setting, tea offers non-alcoholic drinkers an exciting option. You can create a tea match that will compliment your wine match, giving your diners a better experience and you another income stream.
Now you have a good understanding of our company and our requirements of our customers. If you are excited about curating an exceptional tea list and offering your customers fabulous tea, please send us an email through our contact page and tell us a little about yourself.
Please list the following: what is your business is about? Where you are located? What service do you with to offer and where you see tea fitting into that?
From there we will be in touch to arrange a tasting if you are in Victoria or if you are interstate, we will call you and discuss sending samples.