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Is the coffee boom over in the U.S.?

I’m off to the U.S., and ready to discover the American tea trends. I’ll miss my weekly cups of whole-leaf tea at our London office, but I am also very excited to see what America has on offer. Indeed, tea interest has risen across the pond.

Is the coffee boom over? With a Starbucks shop at every corner, coffee is very much part of the morning ritual. But tastes change and interest in drinking tea is rising, so large companies are throwing billions of dollars into the budding market. The renowned coffee brand, Starbucks, took advantage of the country's growing appreciation for tea by buying Teavana a few years ago.

It is said that one of the reasons for the brewing interest is that the younger generation have travelled to more exotic destinations and discovered the world's favourite drink. Having visited the tea fields and tasted quality tea at tea ceremonies in Japan, I believe a trip to Asia would convert anyone to tea.

Coffee consumption has remained fairly stagnant since the 1970s as Americans switch to healthier options such as green teas, artisanal teas and infusion teas. Black tea currently accounts for more than half of all tea consumed in the country.

According to Forbes, there were 160 million Americans who drank tea daily in any form - hot or cold in 2012. But the majority of the tea consumption in the U.S. is chilled - 85% according to World Tea Media. As demand for convenience and wellness in the F&B industry increases, ready-to-drink tea will keep on growing.

If Americans are much fonder of iced tea than they are of hot tea, fruit and herbal teas are becoming a popular drink for the evenings. I hope to find a nice chamomile infusion in my hotel rooms to have a good night’s sleep after sightseeing all day.

Since tea has infiltrated most Americans' everyday routine, I am confident a decent cup of tea will no longer be hard to find in America.

By Laurene Paoli

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