You've decided to start a tea shop, but you're not sure what you'll need for the endeavor. Your first job is to determine how much you're planning on doing. You need to decide whether you're planning a tea shop or a tearoom. Even if you're only planning on selling tea, it's a good idea to give your customers tastes of your teas.
If you are planning on having a tearoom, you will need things to help you prepare tea sandwiches, scones and other treats. These include a stove, refrigerator/freezer, sink, dishwasher, microwave, toaster, mixer, blender, food processor and hot water dispenser. If you're planning on having coffee, you may need a professional coffee maker and espresso machine. You'll also need the customary kitchen implements such as knives, pots, pans, baking sheets, mixing bowls and kitchen utensils.
The stove should be one that you can heat water on or you can substitute an induction burner, which will heat water to boiling in less than a minute. Ovens are necessary for baking cookies, scones, and so on; convection ovens are best because they bake several batches evenly.
If you're planning on serving large groups, choose professional appliances such as those used in restaurants rather than using appliances you would normally buy for your home. Industrial-strength appliances can take more use and last longer. Plus, they have the advantage of handling larger amounts. For example, having a restaurant dishwasher will enable you to wash and sanitize more dishes.
You'll also need work spaces and cabinets for preparing food and storing dishes, pots and pans, as well as storage space for supplies.
If you're serving tea, you'll need plates and cups, eating utensils, sugar and cream dispensers, tea baskets to hold the tea while steeping, honey dispensers, teapots, saucers, strainers, glasses and pitchers. Tables, chairs, table linens and napkins are also necessary.
You will also need paper cups, bags, paper hot cups and lids, to-go boxes, plastic utensils, paper napkins, paper towels and other disposable items that customers may need.
Tea and Containers
Tea products include an assortment of blacks, greens, oolongs, flavors, blends, chai, and tisanes and containers for them. You'll also need an assortment of tea bags and containers to dispense them, such as tea boxes.
You'll need a counter and cash register or Point of Sale (POS) machine. You'll also need racks to hold the tea and containers or some sort of shelving. Other supplies include cleaning supplies, mops, brooms, buckets, trash cans, rags, sponges, toilet paper and other basic items.