I started Bari in 2011. Was it crazy to open a tea brewery in a tourist town (Alnwick) at the heart of the recession? Perhaps. But here we are in 2015 and we’re thriving; the Bari Tea Brewery is not only popular with tourists but we have our regular locals that form an important audience for us -plus they’re good craic; our list of regional trade partners is growing; and we have a brilliant website and online shop. Today Northumberland, tomorrow the world. Mwahahahaha!
At the heart of everything we do is my enthusiasm (some may say obsession) with tea. My travels to the west coast of the USA (ironically to Seattle which many see as the birthplace of coffee) and Canada showed me how cool and contemporary could be brought to the world of cafés, with the focus always being on the tea. That’s the ‘vibe’ we’ve brought to Bari.
Starting a business from scratch was to a large extent helped by a clear brand vision – Bari Tones – looking at every aspect of the Tea Brewery from what type of music was played at what time of day to the cups. We spent time on the shop fit out, creating something new for Alnwick and moving away from the old-fashioned tea-room look. And at the heart of it all, the tea menu published in our Tea Times and our approach to making a brilliant cuppa.
For us we follow three rules – Tea, Temperature and Time. Basically we source fabulous loose leaf teas, we use fresh, filtered water at the right temperature and we brew each pot for the right amount of time. Simples. In fact we’re so into brewing tea in the right way it’s enough for another blog post.