Sommelier Duties Now Expanding to Tea and Coffee

It’s no secret that coffee and tea are trendy now, and restaurant operators at all price points have been working to take advantage of these beverages’ cultural cachet. On the higher-end side of things, restaurants like Eleven Madison Park have been asking their sommeliers to create tea pairings for their dishes that mimc traditional wine pairings. Tea is especially suited to this application because, like wine, it contains tannins and is grown in many different locations with their own terroirs. High-tannin black tea roughly corresponds to red wine, lighter green tea is reminiscent of white, and oolong can be thought of like high-quality rosé.

Introducing pairing menus for beverages that don’t usually get this sort of treatment is a sound strategy for operators to increase check averages and encourage customers to try out things they wouldn’t order or are unfamiliar with. Servers should be trained to know the pairings and be able to talk about them in their own words. This gives customers the sense that unique beverage pairings are authentically adding value to their meals, and will often lead them to spend more.

Read the full article here: Brewing Coffee and Tea Pairings

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