It is with great pleasure that I report on the American Botanical Council’s Tea Report. 2014 has been a banner year with record breaking numbers in the U.S. Of particular interest to me is the strong showing for loose leaf green and white teas. In 2013, both green and white loose leaf tea showed increases of over 25%, with 2014 set to break that record once the final figures are tallied. I’m impressed that the general public is finally waking up to the joy and value of whole leaf teas. The ability to re-steep the tea throughout the day makes tea economical and easy to enjoy.
What came as a surprise is China. Many of you may have been aware that the younger generation of Chinese were not embracing tea, preferring to consume coffee. This year, the numbers within China are setting records as well. It’s no surprise that the primary reason for the global increase in tea consumption is – you guessed it – health and wellness.
The November tea report by the Council concluded:
“Three primary factors are catalyzing the US demand for tea:
- Health & Wellness Trend: Consumers are seeking affordable, safe ways to enhance their personal wellness and self-care regimens.
- Media Coverage: Consistent media coverage delivering a stream of positive research validating the benefits of tea consumption — including potential prevention of certain diseases and/or enhanced states of wellbeing — is helping educate and motivate consumers.
- Evolving Retail Landscape: Thousands of independent and multi-unit tea retail outlets are expanding nationwide, offering greater consumer access to finer-quality specialty teas.”
I don’t want to dismiss – or forget – the simple pleasures of tea drinking. The delicious taste, the ritual of a daily tea practice, the enhanced cognitive alertness and the wonderful calm that can accompany a cup of green tea. These will always be there waiting for the individual to appreciate when they decide to have a cup of tea.