10 UK tea trends to look out for in 2018

The UK´s tea market is increasing. Like coffee underwent a transformation in the mid 90s — thanks to US TV shows like Friends, something similar is happening with tea in the UK now. But what are the tea trends we should we expect to see in 2018?

2018 is set to be a formative year for the UK’s tea market. We’re becoming more curious about tea and more aware of its health benefits, particularly green tea and infusions.

Northern Tea Merchants’ own James Pogson is at the forefront of the tea industry, travelling the world to discover what’s new and upcoming for the tea industry.

Here are his top 10 tea trends you can expect to see more of this year:

  1. Health benefits of tea– The good news story we are seeing in the press surrounding the health benefits of tea is one the British public is warming too and its reflected in national sales statistics. ‘Health benefits of tea’ is actually one of the most searched terms on Google.
  2. Green tea– will continue to increase in popularity as people tap into its health benefits. In our own tearoom on Chatsworth Road, Gunpowder is particular favourite with customers.
  3. Speciality tea shops– will increase in popularity and number. A new group of discerning tea connoisseurs is emerging, mirroring what happened to coffee in the mid 1990s/early 2000s.
  4. Pyramid tea bags– already popular, these are great to package fine quality teas and will increase in popularity as they are a convenient and mess-free alternative to loose leaf tea.
  5. Large loose leaf tea– more and more people are buying large leaf team as the way to prepare a superior beverage. The theatre, historical provenance and perceived purity of preparing tea this way has helped increase the popularity of loose leaf team in the last 12 months.
  6. Younger drinkers– Tea is trendy. There has been a growth in popularity amongst ‘hipsters’ who desire a more traditional way of living.
  7. Cooking with tea– Just think of all those desserts created on Master Chef that use green tea!
  8. Pairing tea with food– Like wine, you can also pair tea with food and it’s is becoming increasing popular both at home and in restaurants. Rather than traditional English Breakfast with fish and chips, consider Lemon Verbena!
  9. Cold brew teas and tea cocktails – these are just two of the innovative ways we are seeing value being added to the growing UK tea market. They’re very popular in Asia and we’re starting to see this trend filtering through to the UK more this year.
  10. Exotic blends– We have seen significant interest in more exotic blends, particularly with the addition of flowers and herbs to tea in many countries, including Germany, South Korea, China and Singapore and Malaysia. Expect to see more of this in the UK.


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