Tea trends are similar to coffee but, also a bit different. Tea consumption worldwide is second only to water and with approximately 87% of millennials (who now dominate the workforce and, with it, the economy) drink tea, according to the Tea Association of the USA and as Gen Z continues to show preference to tea, tea will continue to consume more of the nonalcoholic beverage market.
People, millennials and Gen Z especially, will pay for higher-quality teas, seek botanicals, and enjoy ready-to-drink tea products. Both groups look for ethically and sustainably sourced tea in flavorful blends and global styles.
Now with all of these people interested in tea, the industry has been working hard to offer a variety of tea trends to their varied group of consumers.
Loose Leaf Tea
Seeking premium tea experiences, people are turning to pure, high-grade loose-leaf tea. Unlike most bagged teas, loose leaf tea leaves stay intact and produce a stronger flavor. Purveyors use whole tea leaves to make loose leaf tea and package it in paper bags, glass jars, or tea chests. You brew loose leaf tea by placing the leaves in a tea ball or strainer and steeping them in hot water. The water temperature and time will vary depending on the type of tea you’re making. In contrast, bagged teas are made with broken, or ground tea leaves packed into individual tea sachets.
Modern tea drinkers expect a variety of global loose leaf tea options. They are also looking for exciting and dynamic tea blends enriched with fruit peels, flower petals, and spices. Plain or unflavored teas are currently the least popular varieties amongst both millennials and Gen Z.
Tea Cocktails and Zero-proof Drinks
Currently, tea beverages are becoming a staple of trendy bars worldwide. About 43% of the public doesn’t drink, and many people choose not to drink alcohol on every social occasion. With the sober curious trend on the rise, there are limits to how many Virgin Marys and Shirley Temples one can consume. Tea blends can offer a great variety of non-alcoholic beverages.
Along the lines of the bar offerings above, sparkling tea is a mixture of sparkling water and tea, making it a healthy alternative to soda. Most health-conscious consumers are going to be on the lookout for sparkling teas from organic tea leaves, botanicals, and with real fruit extracts. Expect to see cafes and restaurants adding sparkling tea to their Spring/Summer menus this year.
Powdered tea is made up of ground tea leaves. Simply add water (or milk to create a tea latte) to convert the tea powder into a refreshing beverage. Powdered teas are growing in popularity because they are easy to prepare. They’re also rich in nutrients because, unlike steeped teas, you’re consuming the tea leaves and herbal infusions in their entirety.
Expected Top 3 Powdered Tea Trends of 2022:
- Matcha – Matcha is a powdered tea made from ceremonial grade green tea leaves. Tea farmers grow matcha tea leaves in the shade which promotes advanced chlorophyll and nutrient levels, yielding the beverage’s signature bright green hue. Matcha tea leaves are hand-harvested, destemmed/deveined, lightly steamed, dried, and finely ground into a superfine powder. We can dissolve this superfine powder in water or milk to create rich matcha tea beverages that boast a strong green tea flavor imbued with irresistible savory undertones.
- Butterfly Pea Tea Powder – Made by grinding butterfly pea flowers into powder, butterfly pea flower tea boasts a brilliant blue shade that creates vibrant milk teas and lattes. It is also used as a natural food coloring for baked goods and ice creams. By adding citrus, you can change its hue to a deep purple. Butterfly pea tea powder has a mild, earthy flavor reminiscent of green tea.
- Instant Tea – Unlike matcha and butterfly pea tea powder, instant tea is not made from tea leaves ground to powder. Instead, manufacturers make instant tea granules by extracting the liquid from fresh tea leaves and freeze-drying the liquid to powder. This process destroys most antioxidants in the tea, making it unpopular amongst health enthusiasts. However, if convenience is your primary concern this will be a great find.
Choosing Tea for Health Benefits
Many consumers now choose tea for its complex blend of chemicals and additives like turmeric, ginger, and chamomile. These tea additives are classified as “adaptogens” which are substances that relieve mental and physical stress.
High-end teas might even include CBD oil, which is a legal and healthy ingredient derived from hemp. CBD-laced coffee and tea continue to be popular among health enthusiasts.
But, never forget the basics. Black tea is the most popular because of its antispasmodic, antiviral, and antiallergenic properties. However, the increased demand for green tea is attributed to its health benefits, which include better cardiovascular health and weight loss.
Final thoughts… Many seem to look to tea for a healthier and tastier choice and given the variety tea can provide, it’s doubtful tea’s popularity will be diminishing anytime soon with the help of these tea trends!