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Food and retail trend reports show that tea consumption is on the rise. Making the perfect cup of tea does require a little ...
know-how -- use these tips for a superbly brewed green tea.
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Your grandmother's favourite beverage has found a new life with retailers who say tea is destined to become the next sought after sip for Canadians bored with the same old cup of coffee.Whether it's the traditional Earl Grey or fancy variations, like carbonated teas, or a tea-infused alcoholic drinks, the number of options for afternoon tea is growing at a stunning pace."Like wine, people are engaged by the complexities and the intricacies of tea," said Keith Howlett, an analyst with Desjardins, who watches trends in the retail industry."It's a familiar beverage and I think that's opened up possibilities."During the past few years, more tea shops have established a quiet presence in neighbourhoods across the country, relying primarily on word of mouth to entice new customers, but the buzz is about to become much louder as Starbucks tries grab a taste of the fervour.Last month, the Seattle-based coffee chain opened its first "tea bar" in New York City, a symbolic step towards expanding its Teavana store base. The company made the biggest acquisition in its history last year when it spent US$620 million to acquire about 300 Teavana stores, including 59 locations in Canada.The rollout could find a particularly receptive audience in Canada where tea is the fifth most popular beverage, with nearly 10 billion cups drank each year, according to Statistics Canada.Starbucks wants to corner the tea market by expanding Teavana beyond shopping malls and into major urban centres, with a significant push to begin in Canada next year. Earlier this fall, the company began carrying Teavana products at its coffee shops which exposed more consumers to the fragrant coffee alternatives that range between $3 and $6 per serving.Canadians' tea consumption is expected to rise 40 per cent by 2020, according to a government agency report on food trends published by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. The increase will be driven by a soaring interest in health and wellness, it said."Canada has always been a hot tea drinking country because of our British past," said Louise Roberge, president of the Tea Association of Canada, a lobbyist group for the industry.Tea's popularity hit its peak before World War II but the beverage slowly began to lose its status after the war ended. By 1991, the hot drink had fallen to the lowest consumption level in its history in Canada.