coffee and tea......mmmmmmm

Joined Jun 9, 2001
i was sitting in my menu's class the other day and the instructor said that there was a lot of money to be made in the coffee and tea area of the restaurant. he caught my attention and now i am curious. i didnt find any good books around here on coffee or tea. i just dont want to offer "coffee" or "tea". i want it to pair nicely to my restaraunt and my cuisine i am offering.

i was wondering if you all knew of a book that might have good info on coffee and/or tea? thanks
Joined Jan 12, 2001
not sure about books, but i've seen quite a few upscale restaurants offering "press-pot" coffee service as an upgrade to just the normal cup of coffee.

often, you can order a 2 or 4-cup press-pot and can choose from a few different "estate" coffees. the server comes and does the press-pot and then you wait a few minutes before drinking it.

it's kind of a fun, interactive thing. and i've seen places charge up to 10 bucks for a 2-cup pot! good money maker, i'm sure...but it somehow doesn't feel like such a rip-off because you get the little extra ceremony with your brew.

also, why not offer an after-dinner drink list with the dessert menu? include coffees and teas, but also any liqueurs or mixed drinks that go well with whatever cuisine you serve. dessert wines, ports, flights of sherries, digestifs, coffee with grappa or whiskey, amaro....and on and on....
Joined Aug 4, 2000
Do on Internet search on PEETS Coffee and also Sweet Marias as the search keys. Very informative. I and many others at this forum have been PEET's customers for years. Mr. Peet helped to start Starbucks, which pales in comparison to Peets IMHO.
Joined Dec 12, 2000
Isaac, it's a sad fact of life, but what really makes or breaks your restaurant is your coffee, I don't know why, but it doesn't seem to matter if you have the best food in town, your customers will judge you on your coffee.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
At Victoria and Albert's, which is in the Grand Floridian Resort in Disneyworld, they have this really really cool chemistry lab looking thing which brews coffee at the table. I've been trying to remember how it worked and how it looked but I can't for the life of me recall. (too much wine) It was assembled in parts with a spirit burner underneath this one bulbous flask. There was a tube which ran up and up top, like a percolater, there was this other part which held the coffee. It was held in place by a rack and slanted at an angle. All I can say is it was really really cool, anyone know what I'm talking about? I would really love to get one of those even though the coffee was just, well, coffee.

Joined Apr 24, 2001
There are a few very good books on the use of tea in food and cooking. They seem to be easier to find in bookstores that feature books on Asian and Asian American literature. Coffee, I am not so sure about as I am more of a tea drinker than a coffee drinker (plus I'm not into fancy schmancy coffee drinks). But with every yuppie facination comes paraphernalia, books being amongst them. There should be a plethora of information in magazines currently on tea as it is being touted as an underestimated (at least in the Western world) beneficial brew. So as soon as the band wagon comes around...

I agree that there is a lot of potential with tea. It's a great alternative to wine for teatotalers (sp?) because of it's complexities, tannins (can be subdued or accentuated), etc. In the US. We mostly enjoy it iced. But I am talkingabout hot teas for good quality (though I am as well stocked with bagged and $90/lb teas). Actually, I don't understand why more restaurants do not feature non-alcoholic drink menus more often. They are probably even cheaper to produce (which would mean a wide profit margin).

Kuan, I know what you are taking about. I forgot the name, but that contraption works on the science of air pressure. When the flame goes out, the coffee is siphoned back into the receptacle because a vacuum had been created. I had a cup of coffee made in that thing years ago at Ray's Cafe in Philadelphia (it was located on 8th Street south of Race Street). I don't know if it's there still. But it was very good cuppa coffee. I still prefer drip method.


Staff member
Joined Jun 11, 2001
Kokopuffs, thanks for the links. Uhm, I just bought one, d'oh.. sigh, they were just too cool to pass up. I guess this means my wife will be getting it for Christmas :)

Wow, can't believe I just did that.

Joined Jan 26, 2001

Such a passion I have for tea and coffee!

My suggestion is to find a tiny tea room, one that would typically also sell gifts that relate to tea. There you will find multiple resources. Also some tea rooms have their own blends, it would be interesting to see why and how.

I haven't found as many tea rooms here in Indiana as I found in Oregon. I'm not sure how widespread they are, but if you want to go to the west coast, I can give you names of several. Some obscure coffee/tea resale shops have knowledgeable people, again, I have found several in Oregon but do not remember their names, only their locations.

As for coffee and its place in restaurants- always, always, always include coffee and coffee drinks (including coffee mixed with liquor) on the dessert menu. People feel they aren't being as "bad" often, and they will spend almost as much money depending on how expensive and elaborate the drinks are. Especially as we head into the cooler weather and people will not want ice cream or cold desserts.....

And hey, if you want it to sound ritzier, call it cafe instead of coffee. And Cafe Au Lait instead of coffee and milk. Sometimes the names mean everything.

My two cents,
Joined Mar 13, 2001
Thank you for posting this Koko. The original Cona will be amongst my Christmas gifts (from MOI to MOI!)...

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