Now, a third generation of teas is brewing. This will concentrate less on exotic new flavours and more on health benefits as producers look to capitalise on a market that remains huge – with 165 million cups of tea consumed in Britain every day – but faces growing competition from coffee.
Tetley has looked into the tea leaves and predicts we are in for a range of “remedy” teas – enriched with medicines, from painkillers to antibiotics – some of which may even be offered as cures for hangovers and remedies for tiredness, the report suggested.
We can also expect tea to be consumed through an array of alternative “delivery mechanisms” such as tablets, jellies, sprays and sorbets, according to a new report Tetley has done with so-called futurologist consultancy Future Foundation.
“Britain’s love affair with tea is enduring. The way we consume tea has gradually evolved since the 17th century, but now we are entering a period of rapid change,” said Laurent Sagarra, head of product innovation at Tetley.
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“The way we consume tea has gradually evolved since the 17th Century, but we are now entering a period of rapid change,” she said.
“We’re constantly innovating, grading, blending and tasting and now’s the time to see what’s next for the iconic British cuppa,” she added.
The proliferation of teas will give High street coffee shops a run for their month, the report suggests, with “tea-total” outlets offering a range of exotic tastes and flavours.
Nick Chiarelli, director of the Future Foundation, said: “Our report predicts that exciting and satisfying new tea formats will develop, and that tea will evolve to deliver personalised health benefits.”