A super study of three UK-real world surveys commissioned in 2019, 2020 and 2021 by the UK Tea and Infusions Association reveals that 43% of 18–24-year-olds say that the pandemic and various lockdown living has encouraged them to drink more tea, with 42% saying they expect to drink more in future.
In comparison, separate research by Sheffield University found that alcohol consumption during the 2020 lockdown actually fell in all adult age groups.
Black tea was the go-to cuppa this year for 6 in ten 16–29-year-olds – up from 4 in ten during 2019. And intakes, too, appear to have risen by an extra cup with half of young adults now drinking three or more servings a day compared with 2019 when the average was just three daily servings.
Dr Sharon Hall, Chief Executive of the UK Tea and Infusions Association, comments: “Living through the pandemic, working from home and the various lockdown restrictions have brought many younger consumers to tea, especially regular black tea and they say their new habits are here to stay.
Our analysis of real-world data from the past three years has shown that half of under 30s say they are drinking more tea now because of home working – compared with around a third of 45–59-year-olds.
Some of the reason may be flat share tea breaks as more younger workers are taking turns to make the tea and get together for some well-earned time out from their desks”.
Video editor, Sam, who’s 24 years, rarely drank tea until lockdown. He says: “My flatmate and I would normally pick up a takeaway coffee between the tube station and work in the morning but now we’re meeting in the kitchen for a morning tea break.
I like the ritual of putting on the kettle and making tea – I even bought a teapot for the first time. English breakfast is my favourite but I’ve now tried several other types, like Lapsang Souchong and Darjeeling. It’s actually saved me loads of money and I find drinking tea very calming”.
Dr Hall adds: “Millennials are also having tea their own way – often adding plant milks rather than dairy and drinking different teas for different times of the day – such as Earl Grey in the afternoon and herbal infusions in the evening. But a less healthy habit is that more young adults – 7 in ten – are adding a spoonful of sugar compared with 4 in ten in older age groups.
“Younger tea drinkers are adventurous about trying new teas, particularly matcha, oolong, peppermint and hibiscus. With home working set to continue as part or all of the working week for a large majority of the UK, and a younger generation discovering the pleasures of a relaxing brew, it looks like tea breaks are here to stay”.
Want to know more on the different types of tea you can enjoy from around the world? Check out their podcasts over on YouTube here
What is the UK Tea & Infusions Association?
The United Kingdom Tea & Infusions Association (UKTIA) is an independent, non-profit making body that works in support of the industry and is dedicated to promoting tea and herbal infusions and their unique story to consumers, the media, and key stakeholders.
UKTIA works on behalf of the world’s major tea producing and exporting countries, UK tea packers and allied UK companies who support the tea and herbal infusions supply chains. The UKTIA provides support and information of a technical, scientific and regulatory nature. UKTIA is the voice of the British tea and herbals industry.