Monday, January 19, 2015

Tea health benefit awareness increases tea drinking!

Ready-to-drink teas have recorded the largest boom in business, according to a report from the Tea Association of the USA Inc. Sales have increased more than 12 times since 1990, topping out at an estimated US$2.41 billion in 2005.

The overall numbers reveal an increase in four market areas: the ready-to-drink tea, and traditional markets - including stores - food service and specialty markets.

We're talking growing from US$1.84 billion to US$6.16 billion in 15 years.

There are those select customers who will only drink tea, mainly because they dislike coffee," she said. "There are also those who stick to tea for health reasons."

Those assumed health benefits have brought the drink under scrutiny lately.

Tea, though, isn't pushing coffee out of the way.

"We have tea customers, and we have coffee customers," said Sandra Alexander, manager at Ola's Exotic Coffee inside the Cesar Chavez Branch Library. "Right now, there are more smoothie drinkers, because it's hot outside."Laurel Hoover, a barista at Java Aroma on Grand Canal Boulevard, said coffee sales were up as the school year ended a couple of weeks ago, but the shop does have its share of tea drinkers.

Hoover expected tea sales to rise when the school year ended and Java Aroma's student customers were less interested in late-night fixes and more into relaxing.

In June 2005, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported that its own data couldn't confirm drinking green tea - said to be beneficial for many different types of health concerns - reduces breast cancer in women and prostate cancer. Last month, the FDA released another report saying it was unlikely the tea reduced the risk of heart disease.

This isn't to dismiss tea as a health booster, but all of the claims accompanying the tea boom should be investigated a little more thoroughly before jumping into an obsession with the beverage.

Though, as my friend proved to me a couple of weeks ago, it doesn't hurt to have a glass every now and then.


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