Meet Patti, our new OOH (out of home) Tea Transformation Lead! Patti joined us 2 months ago and has hit the ground running, visiting hotels, cafes and restaurants to get the low down on the state of the out of home tea experience. Coming from a fashion background, we asked her to sum up her experiences jumping into the tea world, and to share her initial findings with us.

Over to you, Patti…

This summer I found myself at a crossroads. After a career in the high pressured and dizzying world of fashion, I wanted a change. But, first I needed some “me time” which started with a cup of tea. With that first sip, I contemplated my career and a job that I no longer found fulfilling. I considered why, after countless days in exclusive venues of New York, Milan, Rome and Paris, I had lost my passion. 

First I needed some “me time” which started with a cup of tea. With that first sip, I contemplated my career.

Facing an unhappy reality is never an easy task, but the warm tea soothed not only my body but my soul. Taking time to reflect, I realised that I needed a new challenge. I’ve never been afraid to take on a new risk. After all, I relocated to amazing London from another country and taught myself a new language. So, when I had the opportunity to join National Tea Day, I didn’t think twice about the fact that I was not only changing careers, but also industries.

there’s more to tea than I thought!

Over the past two months I have launched myself into this new tasty challenge, and am delighted to introduce myself as Patti, your new tea guide! In this series of blogs I’m excited to share with you my thoughts, observations and learnings about the tea experience in my new role as OOH (Out of Home) Tea Transformation Lead with National Tea Day. 

I’m excited to share with you my thoughts, observations and learnings about the tea experience.

Truthfully, I had little expectations during my first month in the business. I was totally unaware of the tea making process, having never really considered all that goes into a cuppa – the tea type, the water temperature, the brewing time. And I’m not sure what I actually expected goes into a traditional Afternoon Tea, outside of my personal experiences (which were embarrassingly limited). In my opinion, Afternoon Tea is about quality time with friends and family and of course the experience. It’s been a steep but fascinating learning curve for me. I realise that from a business perspective, visions of tea plantations were the extent of my thoughts, but it’s a long journey from leaf to lip.

In my opinion, Afternoon Tea is about quality time with friends and family and of course the experience.

my findings on the tea experience…

So here’s what I found out about tea in my first month – people will go out for coffee, but not tea. Why? Because baristas have perfected the coffee brew and lost the art of brewing tea. The trend of hospitality in the UK has been so coffee focused, that we’ve lost our national identity. However, all is not lost! I have found so many great tea brewers here in London and the rest of the UK, and I know there are so many more to be discovered. In general the best tea brewers consider the type of tea, water temperature and brewing time. I’ve learnt that while teas can be robust, they are best treated with respect for their nature. For example some teas express themselves best at a cooler brewing temperature. 

So here’s what I found out about tea in my first month – people will go out for coffee, but not tea. Why?

I’ve noticed that venues are evolving and developing their tea experiences by offering a wider variety of teas at a higher quality. I’ve also noticed that the most well rounded venues are aware of the story of tea and offer environmentally friendly brands. 

looking forward

I am very much looking forward to taking you on this journey with me.  Over the next few weeks, I’ll share with you my personal experience with how tea is perceived by venues, what type of occasions need more focus in hospitality, overview on trends in the afternoon tea experiences and how my work as OOH tea transformation will contribute to the hospitality sector in next 12 months. 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the tea experience out of home, whether you’re a hospitality professional, tea supplier or a customer. Please get in touch with me! – patrycja@nationalteaday.co.uk 

Take some inspiration from our archives!

August 2019

“Our tea fairies!” – National Tea Day meets Hotel Cafe Royal

Afternoon Tea Week – food pairings inspiration!

July 2019

Meet the Tea-M!

Elevating the out of home tea experience – insights from Kimpton Fitzroy London