High Time For Tea In America
Tea: It's not just for British people anymore.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: September 18th, 2012
Tea sales may actually exceed coffee sales by the year 2017.
hen Americans think of hot, caffeinated beverages the first thing that comes to mind is usually coffee. Coffee is the hot drink of choice here in the U.S. of A., as opposed to tea, which we tend to associate with pasty, poncey British folk. But in recent years tea has made serious inroads into the daily American diet.
American tea sales have grown steadily over the last 20 years. Tea-making accessories are available in most grocery stores and everyone from Billy Corgan to Starbucks is looking to get in on the tea-selling action.
Although it’s mostly associated with England, tea originated in the same country that brought us pasta, ice cream, paper, ketchup, and football: China. Tea was exported to Europe in the 16th century, and didn’t find its way to Britain until sometime around 1660.
But now, tea is becoming so popular in America that tea sales may actually exceed coffee sales by the year 2017, according to World Tea News. This growth in the popularity of tea is apparent in the aisles of any grocery store, where tea choices have expanded from a few boxes in the coffee aisle to an entire shelves.
Also, accessories for making and serving tea are more common. Kettles of every variety, infusers, frothers, tea trays, tea balls, tea trivets, and yes, tea spoons have made their way onto store shelves as well.
Starbucks has begun opening Tazo tea stores in select cities, and Smashing Pumpkins singer Billy Corgan recently opened a 1920s-style Chinese Tea House, Madame Zuzu’s in Highland Park, a northern suburb of Chicago.
It may seem odd to think of the average American sipping an Oolong or Rooibos on the way to the office, but there are good reasons for switching from coffee to tea. Tea contains antioxidants, which have been shown to help prevent cancer. Some studies have suggested that tea might be effective at curbing glaucoma and heart disease. Tea is virtually free of carbs, fat, and protein. Tea does contain caffeine, but a cup of tea has far less than a cup of coffee.
Despite this trend toward tea, many of us still prefer the caffeine jolt that only a cup of coffee can provide, but the ascendency of tea appears unstoppable. After all, as Ray Davies of The Kinks once opined, “Whatever the situation, whatever the race or creed, tea knows no segregation, no class nor pedigree. It knows no motivations, no sect or organization. It knows no one religion, nor political belief.”