Tea customers

My tea passport by Comptoir Français du Thé®


Dealing with customers

What are customers who buy tea in a specialised shop seeking?

  • Tea
  • Enjoyment
  • Quality
  • Advice and information
  • A welcome
  • A consumer experience

Customers must leave the shop…

  • Satisfied with the contact
  • Convinced that they have found the tea they were looking for
  • Sure that they will enjoy drinking their tea
  • Wanting to come back

a. The most common requests

The expressions used by customers …

  • “A tea for mornings, with flavour, that can be drunk with milk”
  • “A tea for mealtimes”
  • “A fragrant tea for the afternoon”
  • “A green tea”
  • “A tea with a low caffeine content or even decaffeinated”
  • “A fine, subtle tea, but with an aromatic flavour”
  • “An original tea for a gift, to discover”

b. Customer focus

I listen to my customer

tea customers needs

  • What is he looking for today?
  • What tea does he usually drink?
  • What type of tea does he like? : plain tea, flavoured tea, black tea, green tea, etc.?
  • What time of the day does he drink tea? Only in the morning, with friends in the afternoon, occasionally on Sundays, etc.?
  • What are his tea-drinking habits? With milk, sugar, lemon…?

The vocabulary of tea

Misleading terms

“Strong or full-bodied”: expression to be explained. Does it mean an intense, round tea with body and a dark brew or with an astringent side?

“Bitter”: generally indicates a green or acidic note in certain teas

“Light”: ask if the tea needs to be light in terms of caffeine content or flavour, i.e. fruity, creamy or floral, with a light brew.

“Perfumed/Fragrant”: have the customer specify whether: the tea should have a taste flavoured with fruits or flowers or whether the customer means “aromatic”, i.e. a plain tea with flavour.


“Traditional”Morning teaPlain, unflavoured
“Earl Grey”A tea varietyA tea flavoured with bergamot
“Orange Pekoe”A tea flavoured with orangeA picking method
“Broken Orange Pekoe”Tea dustTea deliberately cut
“China teas”Not all of them are smokedOnly the Souchong variety is smoked
“Russian tea”A product of RussiaA blend of Bergamot and citrus fruits
“Japanese green tea”Does not have a smoky tasteMarine/herbal taste

Words to be banished from the vocabulary

The expression “Crushed, ground leaves” should be avoided since it is associated with mass-market tea bags

The terms “large or small leaves” should be preferred. It is then important to explain the effect of leaf size on the taste of the tea in the cup

“My tea passport” (Pdf)

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