America And Its Relationship With Tea

Tea and its popularity simply never seems to wane. The most widely consumed drink in the entire world after water, tea can be found in the majority of households in the US, in one form or another. While we tend to associate the popular beverage with the Brits – many of whom seem to have tea drinking obsessions – Americans are equally as big fans and will drink it hot or iced. It’s estimated that around 160 million American folks are drinking tea on any given day.

A brief history of tea in America:

By the 1700’s tea had become increasingly popular in the American colonies, and when in 1767 the British government placed what the colonists believed to be an unfair tax on tea – to cover the expenses incurred during both the French and Indian war, or so they believed – they revolted by refusing to buy tea and not allowing it to be unloaded from the tea ships. The colonists also felt that ‘taxation without representation’ was an issue; since the American colonies were not represented in Parliament, surely Parliament did not have the right to tax them?

On a wintry night in December, 1773, men disguised as Native Americans went aboard some of the British ships in Boston Harbor and proceeded to toss more than 300 chests of tea over the side and into the freezing waters below. Initially known rather unimaginatively as ‘the destruction of the tea’, this event is believed to have been not only a protest about tea taxation, but the main act that led to the Revolutionary War, and it was only much later in the 1820’s that it became known as The Boston Tea Party.

What are the most popular teas in America today?

Recent research has shown that Black Tea is currently the most popular hot beverage among Americans, followed by Green Tea, Oolong, White and Dark Tea. Tea imports and consumption have grown in America, despite other western countries falling behind, and after Russia and Pakistan, it remains the third largest importer of tea in the world.

Ready to drink teas (RTD’s) represent more than half the market sales in the States today, and research shows that this trend is continuing to grow. Traditional tea bags are waning in popularity and are fast being replaced with RTD’s, and specialty teas: the kind of teas that are higher in price, unique and of a single origin.

Iced tea has always been a firm favourite of Americans, and it doesn’t look as if that’s going to change anytime soon, particularly as companies experiment with new flavours and bottle designs.

What has made Americans continue to drink tea?

While traditional tea is reasonably popular among American people, it’s the interesting new tea products now available on the market, along with increased promotion and awareness of the health benefits of drinking tea, that have doubtless encouraged them to not only continue to drink tea in significant numbers, but to drink more of it, too.