Although the businesses we work with have successfully increased sales by giving away small sample bags of tea, proceed with caution!

Giving free samples to unqualified buyers can be wasteful. Also, it may prevent a customer from making an actual purchase, since they are already getting the product for free. Only give free samples to regular tea drinkers (or customers showing positive interest) after they have completed their other purchases. Charging a small fee for a take-home sample may also rule out unqualified buyers, but isn't necessary for good customers. Alternatively, you could use sample give-aways as an incentive such as "buy 3 tins and get a free sample." This also ensures you are giving samples to customers that regularly drink tea and are likely to buy again.

When given to the right customer at the right time, take-home samples increase sales and create customer loyalty. Of course, be sure to provide them with a sample they have not yet tried before.


Although both are effective at increasing sales, in-store demos are an affordable alternative to take-home samples.

Offering a small cup of tea is a welcoming, friendly gesture, initiates conversation and introduces customers to your products. Stores that demo tea consistently report higher sales.

The tips below will help you establish an effective demo program at your place of business....


  1. A teapot to brew the tea: If your teapot is too small, you can save time by brewing a single pot of concentrated tea (using twice the suggested tealeaves) and then diluting the final brew with an equal portion of freshly boiled water.
  2. A way to strain the leaves: Many teapots come with an infuser basket; alternatively, you can use fill-your-own tea bags which are especially convenient for easy clean-up.
  3. A way to boil water: Electric water kettles (available at Target or Walmart) are a quick and easy way to boil water. If you sample tea on a regular basis, we recommend purchasing a Zojirushi Water Heater which will keep up to 5 liters of water at the perfect tea-brewing temperature all day.
  4. A thermal beverage dispenser: Unlike keeping tea in a teapot, a beverage dispenser (also available at Target or Walmart) will keep tea warm for hours, which will make your job much easier. Beverage dispensers also make it easy for customers to serve themselves.
  5. Sample cups: We recommend choosing small, sample-sized cups so the tea will last longer. Make sure the cups are suitable for hot liquid. Small ceramic cups are a great alternative to disposable cups.
  6. Bulk tea: When sampling tea, we highly recommend purchasing tea bulk by-the-pound rather than opening a retail tin. Teas sold bulk-by-the-pound offer a significant savings.
  7. A timer: Using a timer (set for 3 minutes and 30 seconds) will ensure you get the best flavor possible.


  1. Bring fresh, cold water to a full boil. Avoid using mineral water and soft or unfiltered tap water, which will weaken tea’s flavor. Bottled spring water or well-filtered tap water will provide a lively, aromatic infusion.
  2. Add tealeaves to a teapot, infuser basket or fill-your-own tea bag. Use 1 full tablespoon of leaves for every 10 ounces of water. Using 1 full tablespoon will provide a generous, full-bodied cup and will work for even lighter teas.
  3. Allow boiling water to cool just a few minutes before pouring over tealeaves. Allowing water to cool slightly after boiling will prevent many teas (especially green teas) from becoming bitter. Infuse (steep) tea for 3 ½ minutes. Do not over steep or tea may become bitter. If tea becomes bitter, either reduce steeping time or lower water temperature.
  4. Empty contents into a beverage dispenser.
  5. Arrange cups, several tins of tea, a few brewing accessories near the beverage dispenser so customers can easily find what they need, without having to walk to another part of the store or ask for help. Display a sign advertising the name of the tea you are sampling and a brief description of its flavor near the beverage dispenser. You may wish to place a dish of sugar or honey nearby as well.

© 2020 Octavia Tea.