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Reinventing the hotel welcome drink

The welcome drink for hotel guests presents a unique opportunity to make a lasting impression and to create a talking point. It’s time to ditch syrupy offerings and embrace trending teas for high impact and healthy added value. The biggest lifestyle trend today is wellness. The pandemic has changed eating patterns and highlighted nutrient-dense, functional foods. There’s also a move away from consuming alcohol. The health benefits of tea are widely documented and studies show it can boost immunity and fight disease.

When guests arrive, it’s safe to assume that they’re tired and parched. The opportunity is ripe to take guests on a sensory journey – tell a story with your welcome drink. Give them a taste of local flavours and share the story of the plantation, the people and the purpose of the product. Nothing beats a satisfying drink, so why not serve refreshing tea cocktails? Tea lends itself to many different types of presentation – from premium to pop culture – and at different price points. The demand for new products and playful add-ons has never been higher. From infused waters to trending teas, bartenders, chefs and mixologists can get creative. There’s no limit to innovation.

Wellness teas

Consumers are choosing less sugar and more bitter botanicals. Teas with herbs and spices (like turmeric) make comforting warm and cold beverages, and the bonus is that they’re naturally alcohol-free. Some, like fruit and herbal infusions, are even caffeine free.

Iced teas

Easy to prepare and a thirst-quenching drink that is popular for its recognisable flavours and exotic fruity garnishes. English Breakfast tea, or green and jasmine tea bags, can be used to make a deliciously fragrant iced tea base.

Lattes

From chai to matcha latte served with steamed milk, tea is a comforting early morning drink and a good afternoon pick-me-up, especially on cold days. Not too heavy on the caffeine but just enough to add a zing to your welcome drink.

Milk teas

British tea, Hong Kong milk tea and bubble teas are both classic and trendy, and can be served hot or cold. Served with chewy, sweet tapioca balls, there are upwards of 200 flavour combinations of bubble tea alone, with healthier low sugar, green tea and black tea options appearing on menus.

Tea cocktails
Tea cocktails

Tea cocktails

What better way to start a holiday than with an alcohol-free cocktail as a welcome drink in hotels? From punches to daiquiris, tea is versatile enough to be used as a hero ingredient as more bitter flavours make a comeback. The wine-esque appeal of delicate teas like Darjeeling with its many nuances (sweetness and complexity) makes it a refined premium ingredient to serve as a more sophisticated hotel welcome drink.