IT DOESN’T GET MUCH MORE BRITISH THAN A (NICE) CUP OF TEA.
As a nation we’ve been drinking hundreds of millions of cups of the stuff every day for decades. And since there doesn’t seem to have been the slightest dip in consumption in the last hundred and fifty years or so, it feels strange to say that tea is making something of a comeback.
Although we drink significantly more tea than coffee overall — something like 165 million cups of tea per day, versus around 70 million cups of coffee — it’s an odd quirk that more cups of coffee are sold on the high street than tea.
But a new wave of businesses is opening in the hope of changing all that — boutique tea-rooms are on the up as we rediscover the ceremony and variety of tea. Tea rooms have increased nine per cent on last year to reflect our growing taste for a high-end experience (Simply Business 2012), all because we’ve started to remember that there’s more to our national drink than pyramid bags and semi-skimmed milk.
And why not? Tea is fantastically good for you. It has chemicals that help with relaxation; those that fight tooth decay; and three cups of tea have the equivalent antioxidant value of eating six apples. In fact our penchant for a good cuppa means that the flavanoids in black tea are the number one source of antioxidants in the British diet.
Tea is also great for brainpower. Theanine (an amino acid found in green tea) increases brainwave activity and promotes relaxation. And l-theanine and caffeine, when working together, have been shown to deliver unique cognitive benefits. All of which are great for our health, and great for productivity in the work place.
Drinking tea at work should be encouraged — in fact it seems like a bit of a win-win for organisations and their employees alike. A better hydrated, more relaxed and energetic workforce can only be a good thing, so encourage your staff to head to the kettle or restaurant for a cup of something hot and healthy.
LONG LIVE THE GOOD, OLD-FASHIONED TEA BREAK.
Simply Business (2012), ‘High street ‘goes boutique’ to compete with malls and supermarkets’, 31 August 2012 [online] http://www.simplybusiness.co.uk/about-us/press-releases/high-street-2012/ (accessed 12 December 2012).