Coffee and Tea – A Lucrative Online Business

As you know if you’ve read my article “Great Business Opportunity for Coffee-Loving Entrepreneurs,” the coffee business is a “hot” place to be. Coffee captures many elements of the American good life–health, weebo social interaction, and the culture surrounding the enjoyment of food and drink.

An article in Forbes online says, “According to the NCA [National Coffee Association], 80% of Americans drink coffee, and more than half of the population drinks it every day….” It adds, “Coffee consumption is now being linked to the lowered occurrence of cases of certain cancers and chronic diseases.” Tea is no slacker in the health department, either–it’s a source of antioxidant vitamins and minerals and is becoming recognized for its many health benefits.

While a new Starbucks store opens for business somewhere in the world every day, however, starting a coffee franchise may not be for everyone. For those who prefer an online business, with its flexible hours, automated systems, livewebdir and freedom from geographical limitations, the world of coffee and tea still offers a world of opportunity.

Here are some items you’ll want to offer in your online store:


  • A wide variety of coffee and tea
  • Other beverages such as hot chocolate and spiced cider
  • Foods to go with the beverages–chocolate, biscotti, scone mixes
  • Items for preparing and serving coffee and tea: coffee makers, espresso machines, teapots and teacups, latte mugs
  • Gift items for coffee and tea lovers
  • Novelty items–t-shirts, bumper stickers, note cards, etc.– all with a coffee/tea theme
  • Books about coffee and tea, with topics including: coffee and tea history, roidirectory recipe books, The Starbucks Experience: 5 Principles for Turning Ordinary Into Extraordinary by Joseph Michelli (and other books about Starbucks)


Some ideas for marketing your products:


  • Continuity/loyalty/gift programs
  • Referral system(s) with complementary business(es)
  • Affiliation with a “trendy” philanthropic cause, such as fair trade
  • Being a source of information on health, quality, conservation issues, etc.
  • Hosting a blog
  • An e-mail campaign
  • Developing a reputation for excellent customer service–asking for, huntingtime and graciously receiving, customer feedback…and acting upon it


Some of the really cool things about running an online business: you won’t have to find a prime location; you won’t need a building permit or furniture; you don’t need a lot of employees; you won’t face a long startup process.

You will need suppliers for all your coffee, other foods and beverages, and everything else; explore drop shipping so you won’t have to carry a huge inventory. You’ll need a graphic/web designer, of course–one who “gets” your image and your message. And you’ll need a marketing expert who loves coffee as much as you do.

Lisa J. Lehr is a freelance copywriter specializing in direct response and marketing collateral, with a special interest in the health, pets, specialty foods, and inspirational/motivational/self-help niches. She has a degree in biology, has worked in a variety of fields including pharmaceuticals and teaching, and has volunteered for many causes including special-needs kids and literacy. When she’s not writing, she enjoys reading, art, music, outdoor exercise, and all things Celtic and Renaissance.


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