The World Tea News is a terrific source for industry information. I was delighted to see an analysis of a comprehensive report which came out in early 2014: “According to Amadee+Company, the global market for tea is very large and estimated at USD15.4 billion in 2013, in terms of production value. While the Black/Other Teas segment is growing modestly (3.9% annually), production of Green Tea is growing rapidly (11% CAGR) and Herbal Teas are growing exponentially (>15% CAGR).”
To get the full report, one would most likely need to be in the tea industry to support the cost of this prepared document, ($3,900.00) but the message is clear for anyone looking for evidence of tea’s increasingly prominent position in our culture. Going to your local supermarket and heading for the tea aisle quickly confirms these trends. As has been the case over the last decade, the profound health benefits associated with green tea and herbal tisanes have fueled this explosion via health conscious consumers around the country, and the world. And why would that surprise any of us, really? Obesity statistics are grim; childhood obesity and diabetes are poised to cripple the next generation. Calories consumed through soda and high sugar beverages are the primary culprits that account for these alarming statistics.
For parents of young children, the introduction of tea into the family culture can help to shift children away from sweetened beverages toward healthier and tastier options. If we introduce our children to tea before their palates are influenced by excessively sweet flavor profiles, we can reverse these troubling taste patterns. Although tea purists prefer to focus on the ritual of tea and its value to slow us down to attend to the delicious flavor profile of these ancient brews, it’s hard to ignore the science. TEA is most definitely HOT. Drink tea for the delicious flavor. Drink tea to calm your upset. Drink tea to support the varied systems in your body. Let’s not debate the virtues of any of these reasons – any reason for drinking the healthiest beverage on the planet is valid. So, whether your focus is on health/wellness/disease prevention, the meditative/spiritual pleasure that tea imparts, or the gustatory delight of tea, drink up and enjoy.
Sodas and sugary drinks are on their way out – at least schools no longer offer them in vending machines. However, soda companies have become very creative: instead of calling it “high fructose corn syrup,” now the labels read “evaporated cane juice.” Corn is a cane plant, related to sugar cane. Until consumers resist – and insist – T Ching’s mission remains: educate; advocate, and appreciate WHOLE LEAF!