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Money lesson and larger tea range


I learned a really good lesson last year about money.

teascomau-7secrets-GreatTea-book.jpgYou see, our business has been doing well. After 10 years of hard work, we can say, yep, we have matured with age πŸ˜‰

But what happened after that was somewhat unexpected, but so necessary.

The lesson cuts deep, and as a business owner, I feel it is my obligation to share it with you – especially if you have subscribed to our enews and downloaded theΒ 7 Secrets to Great Tea ebook.

In the wrong hands, the Secrets ebook could be disastrous, because you will get so excited, and make the same mistake like I did

So it began…about 9 months ago, business was flourishing and I had an itch I had to scratch – I felt like trying some new teas.

Suppliers was sending me some really nice premium tea. I was onto my last tiny bit of samples. I wanted to restock, for selfish reason, but why not get some more and pop it online. I had some “spare cash”.

So happily I made my executive decision as the owner of the business. Boss got to have some perks.

The tea arrived 2 weeks later, in their lovely shiny packs from China. It was like Christmas for me. I bought 5kg for undisclosed little princely sum. 5kg was not exactly a lot of tea, but because it was premium tea, it’s not best to sit around.

I told our good friends and customers. No bites, everyone said they couldn’t afford it.

What, for this kind of good tea? I seriously didn’t mark it up enough and I was told it was simply way off good ole Australian average tea prices.

So I ended up drinking it up with far less enjoyment that I expected. No one wanted it. Yes I sent some to our good customers some samples, but no one wanted to BUY.


So what did I learn?

When we have money, we made slack money decisions.

I had spare cash, so I went and expanded my tea range, well, attempted to.

I didn’t do my homework and tried to lock in some pre-ship orders. I got the tea in, then try to sell it. It was more hustle and bargain than I liked to do for some premium tea.


So if you have all the money in the world, should you expand your tea range?

Firstly, perhaps ask yourself, what sort of “tea business” are you running?

And how many teas are you comfortable in explaining to your customers?

Some are only ok talking black tea, because that’s all they have drunk, ever, and in that case, start with a small range like the usual English Breakfast, Earl Grey, and perhaps Chai plus another black tea, say Assam or Darjeeling.

Secondly, consider what you (and your staff) are familiar with – if everyone in the team hates green tea, it is pretty hard to sell it convincing to your customers.

Start with something you drink and know – your knowledge and experience with the tea (type) will make it easier for you to talk about it and hence easier to sell.

# of tea stocked market perception
4-6 cafe: the usual
8-12 cafe: pretty serious about tea / tea house: a bit small
20-30 cafe: these guys know tea / tea house: nice range
31-50 tea house: this is fun
over 50 tea house: this is getting me very Excited!
over 100 tea house: a little tea-mad

So if you have loads of money right now, and have an itch, hold off scratching, and start a bit of “business soul searching”.


2 thoughts on “Money lesson and larger tea range

  1. Great advice, I am in the process of starting a small online tea shop in south Africa, your advice and stories really help give me some insight into what I am dealing with!

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Joanna
      Thank you for connecting and your feedback. Great to hear our insights may help you to become a smarter tea merchant. All the best, let us know anything else you want to know about setting up a tea business.

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