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Fresh Ideas To Help Your Café Stand Out This Summer (Cont.)

Add A Healthy Beverage To Your Menu.
Elixir, a “Tonics & Tea Bar” in Los Angeles has created a line of shelf-stable, low-sugar and low-carb herbal tonic beverage concentrates called Gan Bei Tonics. Elixir blends herbal material with fruit concentrates and natural flavors to create the concentrate that can then be served hot or cold by mixing it with either hot water or sparkling water over ice. These delicious, refreshing drinks are completely natural with no added sugars.

“Each beverage has its own flavor profile and direction,” says president Jeff Stein. Elixir’s Depth Recharger is a berry flavored tonic that is a replenisher for those feeling depleted. Power Plant is a botanical energizer with a lemon citrus flavor. Other popular include Virtual Buddha, (for balance and creativity), Mind Over Muddle (for mental clarity, focus and concentration), and Yin From The Cold (for relief from early signs of cold and flu). All tonics are flavored with fruit such as berry, lemon, peach and apricot.

Elixir, which also sells a line of loose teas, offers their tonics as an alternative beverage in small coffeehouses across the country. “The product is non-competitive and in fact is complimentary,” says Stein. “Most coffee houses sell the lions share of coffee prior to 11 am, yet they’re usually open until late at night. Tonics serve the need for those wanting a beverage and the social experience of gathering with friends at a coffeehouse, but don’t want caffeine after a certain time of day. Even though tea can serve this purpose, teas don’t have the modern edgy sex appeal of tonics.” He adds, “Coffee and tea retailers feel that they’re able to keep their offering fresh and modern and thereby provide an added value to their customers - many of whom are young, caffeinated, aware of trends and looking for the next hot item.”

Elixir Tonics & Teas, 8612 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, California 90069. Tel: (1)(877) 4-Elixir, (310) 657-9300, Fax: (31) 657-9311.

Add A Fun Beverage To Your Menu
There is always room for a novel and fun drink idea which will catch the eye and please the tastebuds. Named after a region of Brazil, UbaTuba is an easy-to-make Brazilian coffee or tea blend from Big Train that is served over ice, with small flavor balls they call “ubas” at the bottom. Similar to the concept of bubble tea, the ubas are sucked up through a fat straw while drinking the beverage. The ubas look a bit like small marshmallows - they are white balls made of natural flavors and sugar. Posters of the funky-looking beverage will attract customers to try this sweet and non-traditional treat.

Big Train, 30331 Esperanza, Rancho Santa Margarita, California 92688. Tel: (800) Big Train, Fax: (949) 459-7777, E-mail: info@bigtrain.com.

Top Your Beverages Off
Pitt and Ciok is a neat little contraption that sprinkles powdered substances like cocoa onto hot, frothy drinks in a design of your choice. Originally from Italy, where espresso drink presentation originated, the product has recently been introduced to America by an Italian-American from the company I.F.C.

“This decorating product can be used in drinks like cappuccinos, macchiatos, as well as easy other drink or dessert plates for a decoration that improve its presentation to the customer,” says president Stefano Carniato.

The devices can be bought with a support stand, more steady than a hand, which ensures that the design comes out neatly every time. The product comes with a variety of designs and can also be personalized upon request - with your café’s logo, for instance.

IFC Inc - Pitt and Ciok, 2699 Collins Ave., #139, Miami Beach, Florida 33140. Tel: (305) 674-6905, Fax: (305) 674-8791.

Let Them Eat (Free) Cake
Finally, don’t miss out on this delicious offer. My Grandma’s Coffeecakes runs a Grand Opening Program for new coffee businesses. By contacting My Grandma’s at least one month prior to opening, new entrepreneurs can get some free cakes as well as free publicity. My Grandma’s will offer a significant discount on the first order of coffeecakes and additional free cakes to be sampled at the “grand opening party.” My Grandma’s will also contact local newspapers, sending them a sample cake with a press release announcing the grand opening date, location and free cake sampling. This is free of charge to the café owner. “After tasting the cake most newspaper people want to let their readers know where to find it,” say the folks at Grandma’s.

The cakes are available in a variety of flavors including Original Cinnamon Walnut, Granny Smith Apple and Cappuccino. Even if your shop has been around for a while, we recommend you offer these cakes. Taste one and you’ll know why your coffee drinkers looking for something sweet with their beverage will keep coming back for more. And more. And more...

My Grandma’s of New England, 1636 Hyde Park Avenue, Boston, Massachussetts 02136. Tel: (1)(617) 364-9900, (800)-8Grandma.

Tea & Coffee - June/July, 2002

Theta Ridge Coffee

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