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You may have started drinking tea for the health benefits, or as an alternative to coffee, or just because it tastes good. When Gary and I became interested in tea and found that most Americans drink instant tea, iced tea and hot tea with tea bags. Well, okay. However, we found that a revolution is brewing (hah, pun intended).

Although coffee is still king in the United States, a major change is brewing. (Oh, no. There we go again :))

Department of Agriculture statistics show tea drinking has increased as coffee drinking has declined. And while studies also show that coffee is associated with many health benefits, including helping protect against diabetes and Parkinson’s disease, a typical cup has much more jitter-producing caffeine than tea does.

Manelle Martino, co-owner of Capital Teas in Washington, said she has seen the explosion of interest in tea firsthand. Her sales of loose-leaf tea have risen substantially each year since she opened the business in 2007, she said. “We started the tea company with one shop. Now, there are six stores in the D.C. area,” she said. “People are becoming more health-conscious. You have baby boomers who are into preserving their youth. You see them wanting to take better care of themselves.”

harvesting tea

So what did we learn about tea in our research about tea drinkers and tea?