For many who eat outside the home, coffee is the dominant morning drink and tea for breakfast has consisted of a teabag in a paper cup. New trends and technologies are challenging the status quo breakfast menu.
During the past decade 20% more restaurants have added breakfast/brunch to their menus, according to Chicago-based market research firm Datassential. Restaurants and cafes are finding new ways to serve tea for breakfast, and they go beyond the teabag.
Tea bars and tea lounges have led in taking morning tea offerings to a new level.
- How It Works
As far as breakfast foods go, leading tea bars and tea lounges stick to the playbook with simple, healthy options. Items may include muesli, a specialty (e.g. quinoa) waffle, or egg white frittata. The top five breakfast trends for 2015 according to the National Restaurant Association, include traditional ethnic breakfast items such as chilaquiles (fried tortillas, salsa and eggs). A meal of tea plus a breakfast item will range from $6 to $12.
Tea lounges and tea bars have gone above and beyond with their range of tea+milk options. At Teavana Tea Bar in New York City, three kinds of latte are available, including (yerba) mate latte, chai latte, and matcha latte. Breakfast items include tea and vegetable smoothies with Greek yogurt and Genmaicha Miso Tea Soup with baby spinach. Samovar Tea Lounge locations in San Francisco offers tea with milk via a more traditional masala chai and Ocean of Wisdom, a caffeine-free rooibos blend created for the Dalai Lama.
Tea + Juice
Tea and juice combinations also break barriers in terms of traditional breakfast fare. Teavana Tea Bar serves a non-alcoholic blackberry mojito that includes blackberry juice and green tea. Other juices combined with teas include apple and mango. Lemonade, coconut milk, and ginger lemonade stretch the definition of “juice,” but are also included in Teavana’s tea+juice cocktails. These tea-juice cocktails offer enough versatility to serve double duty as a workday breakfast drink or a weekend brunch beverage.
The surge of morning tea and breakfast is generally being served with a modicum of simplicity. Jesse Jacobs of Samovar Tea Lounge observed that people are not looking for a lot of choice. What they really want is quality, convenient caffeine with good flavor. Seventh Tea Bar’s emphasis on single-origin teas echoes that sentiment, as does the Teavana latte selection.
- Jason Walker