Freelance contribution by: Lucy Wyndham

There are 159 million Americans that drink tea on a regular basis, in comparison to 150 million people that drink coffee. All over the country, on every other street corner, there are branches of Starbucks, Costa, Caribou, Dunkin and Biggby – but where are all the tea shops? Surely we should be seeing tea salons everywhere, and people walking around with their reusable tea mugs? The fact is that tea culture simply hasn’t swept the nation in the way that coffee has. Are we missing out though? 

Living life at 100 mph

People all over the country are busy: Always rushing around at breakneck speed, trying to fit as much into the working day as possible. A survey done by Harvard business school found that 94% of participants said that they were always in a hurry. It’s a very common complaint by working parents especially, juggling careers with family life. Coffee culture seems to link in with this – we get up in the morning and have a quick cup to boost caffeine levels. Then it’s a stop at the coffee drive-thru on the war to work. A latte with work colleagues for lunch and then an espresso pick-me-up in the afternoon. There is very little about coffee culture that suggests rest, relaxation, and me-time. Not like sitting down and having a nice cup of tea

Cost of running a tea room

One of the other reasons there aren’t more tea rooms in America is the simple cost of setting one up and maintaining the business. A small kiosk may be inexpensive, but a salon could cost around $100,000 by the time you have paid for fixtures and fittings and stock. If you are looking to become a new business owner, however, you can get professional financial assistance or look at a loan in order to raise funds. You may find that consolidating or eliminating your outstanding debts helps to free up the capital that you need to get your business off the ground. This financial help could mean that you could soon become the proud owner of a unique and interesting tea room – better than any chain coffee shop. 

Educating the customer about tea culture

If we want to see more tea rooms in America, it means changing the attitude of a nation. Isn’t it time to slow down and take stock of life? Surely there is value in taking half an hour out of your day and enjoying a delicious cup of tea with a friend? Just sitting and having a conversation is one of life’s simple pleasures – this shouldn’t be abandoned in favor of a drive-thru macchiato. The ritual of a beautiful brew is one of those things that is treasured all over the world: From the tea houses in China, to quaint English salons where tea is taken with cake and jam. Afternoon tea is not just a drink in a cup – it’s an occasion that you can celebrate with family and friends. 

Having a nice cup of tea is a social craze that should be as popular in America as visiting a coffee shop. We just need to remind the nation that it is good to sit down, relax, catch a breath, and appreciate what we have around us.

Photo “Breakfast that was…” is copyright under Creative Commons 2.0 Generic License to the photographer Milada Vigerova and is being posted unaltered (source)