A recent survey showed that people in the UK search for coffee online more than tea, yet when you conduct a straw poll around the office, the usual preference is tea. We love both tea and coffee here at Chateau Rouge – as well as a good mug of hot chocolate – but it got us thinking…
We’ve just had The London Coffee Festival, UK Coffee Week and National Tea Day, so it’s obvious that as a nation we’re fond of the odd hot beverage. But which one is the winner?
The most recent statistics from iThinkMedia showed that coffee is searched for online 76.9% more than tea, with a total of 33,100 searches per month for tea, in comparison to 110,000 searches each month for coffee, and only 19 million hashtags on Instagram compared to the impressive 66 million for coffee. Take a look at the infographic they created to show tea versus coffee online in the UK:
* Tea v. Coffee Infographic courtesy of iThinkMedia.co.uk
We’re all aware that there are health benefits of drinking tea of all kinds, and there has been a rising trend in drinking tea as part of a healthy lifestyle to improve health and wellbeing. Green tea is becoming more and more popular, as are caffeine-free, herbal blends, such as peppermint, rooibos and camomile. The antioxidants, polyphenols and phytochemicals in green tea are known to be good for the body and support both the immune and digestive systems.
Over recent years green tea has been sold more as weight-loss tea in health food outlets or as an ingredient in bottled iced teas products. While it is a fact that green tea does help your body burn fat, the real reason is not the green tea per se but rather the caffeine component which slowly metabolises fat stored in the body by raising the body's internal temperature. Coffee has the same effect but your body absorbs the caffeine in coffee very differently.
Although people don’t seem to be searching for the more traditional teas, such as English Breakfast and Earl Grey these days, “afternoon tea” is searched for around 6,000 times a month, and afternoon teas and themed tea get-togethers are growing in popularity across the UK, as well across the Pond.
Charlotte, digital marketing manager atafternoontea.co.uk, the UK's no.1 website for searching for and booking afternoon tea in venues across the UK, commented; “We have seen an increasing interest in taking Afternoon Tea amongst a younger audience of late. Venues across the nation are always finding ways to push the boundaries on the Afternoon Tea concept by putting inventive twists on the experience such as themed Afternoon Teas etc. Tea has an image as being a very traditional drink. However, I believe that its popularity will continue to grow and grow, especially amongst a younger demographic.”
At traditional afternoon teas, the classic black teas such as Earl Grey and English Breakfast tend to be the favoured brews to accompany the delicate sandwiches, scones and sweet treats that make up a proper afternoon tea. However, purveyors of good afternoon teas now offer far more choice of teas than ever before, with a selection of green and white teas, herbal teas and tisanes now just as popular as the traditional pot of English Breakfast or Earl Grey to be paired with fine foods.
We all seek that boost in the mornings, whether that’s coffee or tea, but coffee has certainly grown in popularity in the UK in recent years. However, whereas tea seems to be more about tradition, the health benefits, or the experience of “taking tea”, coffee lovers in the UK seem more concerned with the provenance, style and blend of coffee, with artisan coffee makers enjoying the spotlight at events like the London Coffee Festival and doing their but for charity and the community during UK Coffee Week.
We may all be searching for that perfect cup of coffee on the internet, but we’re still a nation of tea lovers. Latest figures show that we consume 60.2 billion cups of tea per year (Don't' worry you got the number right! We had to recheck this a few times as it sounds unbelievable but it's true!), which equates to 165 million cups of tea drunk each day in the UK; this compares to current estimates of only 70 million cups of coffee consumed in the UK each day. Indeed, the UK Tea & Infusions Association estimates that 84% of the British population drink tea and herbal infusions every day.
Whether you prefer a nice old fashioned cuppa tea or just a good old cup of coffee – or love to indulge with a warm hot chocolate – enjoy! For top quality teas, coffees and drinking chocolates, have a look at our online shop. If you have not already done so we offer -15% off your first order when you subscribe to our mailing list today!
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Seán Farrell – Founder, Chateau Rouge