Americans Love Tea – Sez the British Press

We Americans sure love our tea. Or so the British say. Wait. Excuse me? Isn’t that supposed to be the other way around? Aren’t we Yanks supposed to be blabbing on about how much the British love their tea? I think so. To be quite honest, I’ve been guilty of doing just that more than a few times.

And it’s all true. It’s also true, according to this recent article in the British press, that tea has been on a rapid upswing here in the land of the free and the home of the iPhone. It’s been said many times (and I’ve said it a few times my own self) that Americans are not among the world’s great tea drinkers. But I’ll go over the litany one more time. We Americans don’t drink a lot of tea, most of what we do drink is in the iced form and what little bit we grow here is more of a curiosity than anything else.

But that’s somewhat of an outdated version of The American Tea Story. As the article notes, with a little sub-headline thingy that claims, “Domestic tea sales are up 32% since 2007, and is expected to reach $18 billion in the next two years.” Which is no small potatoes, mind you, but there’s more. But first I should say that the British article is apparently based on an article that first appeared in (the American) Advertising Age magazine. But the notion of the Brits marveling about our tea drinking is such a great one that we’ll skim over that detail.

The article notes that the tea industry here has been experiencing “a moment of staggering growth” and quotes one insider who went so far as to say, “the tea industry is going straight up, and at some point, it will reach the level of coffee.” Which could be a bit of an exaggeration, but who can say for sure? All of which has led a number of high-profile retailers to take a closer look at this mysterious thing called tea. Among them, a certain massive retailer that’s best known as a purveyor of coffee, as well as various fast food chains, not the least of which is McDonald’s.

Which may not do anything to improve the overall quality of the tea served to the average American (Shaken Peach Green Tea Lemonade, anyone?) but of course anyone who requires “good” tea should not have that much trouble seeking it out, as has always been the case.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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