by Guest Blogger Sarah Rosalind Roberts

I hope you started your 2014 off with a bang and, of course, the way any new year should be started, with a nice, hot cuppa tea.

Tea in 2014 (image by A.C. Cargill)

Tea in 2014 (image by A.C. Cargill)

Have you made any New Years resolutions this year? I never usually do as I find it difficult to stick to my end of the bargain. However, for me, this year is different. I’ve made a resolution for which I have vested interest in succeeding. My goal is to try at least one new tea every month, with the aim of broadening my tea taste bud horizons. There’s so many different teas out there, I’d like to be a step closer to trying more.

So, a new year has begun and with this is a chance to reflect and take a look at where the tea trends of 2014 are heading.

Next to water, tea is the second most consumed beverage in the world, which is why it comes as no surprise that tea, in its various forms, feature heavily on our taste palettes for 2014.

Cooking with Tea 

Cooking with tea is set to pick-up the pace over the next year. It’s been touched on in recent years, but has never been quite so prevalent as forecasters are predicting. Highlighted in the McCormick Flavour Forecast, tea is a ‘must-have’ ingredient for 2014. It’s an incredibly versatile flavour and is even a natural meat tenderiser because of the tannin found in the leaves. This makes it perfect for experimenting with marinades, using the liquid to cook with and making spice rubs.  Yum!

Coffee Shops Introducing Tea 

Confidence in the tea industry is at an all time high with a major coffee retailer making a bold move opening of their first tea shop.  It comes to something when even coffee shops are branching out into tea and this is something we may see over the next year.

Specialty tea 

The range of speciality teas on offer in the industry is growing with more and more types of tea, flavours and infusions appearing on the market. Tea purists may cringe and the thought of this, but if it opens up the tea world to more people, surely it can’t be a bad thing?

It will certainly be an interesting year for tea, and I for one will be embracing the ride all the way.

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