More of us will be cosying up for a cuppa as the cold weather sets in with the arrival of autumn.
Whether this is a cup of coffee or tea varies as our attitude to drinking coffee on-the-go often depends on getting that caffeine fix, whereas tea drinking is more associated with relaxation.
Tea remains the most popular drink in the UK, with 165 million cups drunk daily compared to 70 million cups of coffee – so why are there no tea bars in the UK?
Recent sales and drinking figures indicate the potential for more Brits to drink tea outside of home, as we explore in this update on the tea industry.
US Tea Bar Success
The trend for high street coffee shops may have started in America, however it seems there’s a growing demand for tea, with sales increasing by 15% in the past five years and tea bars appearing across the U.S.
One reason that motivates Americans to buy tea outside of home more than us, is that while every home in the UK will have a kettle as standard, the US home electrical system doesn’t provide enough wattage to allow a kettle to work properly. The UK standard is 230 v compared to 120 v in America.
As the kettle is an essential electrical appliance in UK homes there’s a perception that buying tea on-the-go isn’t special, with the view that a tea bag and hot water is a simple enough brew to make at home.
In contrast, coffee shops have the advantage of skilled hand baristas and high-powered coffee machines, which indicate a luxury purchase which can’t be afforded at home.
Breaking away from the Coffee Bar Experience
A successful tea bar in the UK would need to offer its customers a tea-drinking experience that creates a reason for drinking tea outside of the home.
A newly-opened tea bar owner has conducted research that finds tea bars would be going wrong by offering the beverage in a coffee-style location.
The drinking habits of tea are different, so it’s necessary to determine what atmosphere would best suit the clientele that you’re trying to attract.
Traditional Tea Takes Downfall
Sales for the traditional English breakfast tea have been falling since the 70s, but this is due to the increasing demand of herbal and green teas. For instance, sales for green tea increased by 50% between 2012-2014.
Britain’s biggest supermarkets have noticed this, and one of them recently announced that it would be replacing 16 of its black tea varieties to introduce more herbal and organic options.
The growing market and increase in alternative tea sales means tea bars could take off in the UK, as long as customers receive a tea drinking experience that’s separate from the one they have at home. For example, a tea bar could create an opportunity for people to sample different teas as part of an immersive experience.
Mobile Business Potential
The tea bar experience is yet to make its mark on the British high street, but with the trend and growth in alternative tea consumption, there is a fantastic opportunity for mobile bars to market alcoholic tea cocktails to customers.
There are cocktails which can be served hot or cold meaning there’s plenty of options to create new menus, or add to a traditional alcoholic offering for an exciting twist.
Enterprising entrepreneurs however, may want their chance to define what tea drinking should mean to the UK when on-the-go!
Launch your Mobile Bar with The Big Coffee
As we’ve discussed experience is everything to customers, which is why many mobile businesses ensure their vehicle stands out for all the right reasons.
The Big Coffee specialises in mobile coffee and mobile bar vehicle conversions. We can provide you with a beautifully handcrafted vehicle, that will be both stylish and practical for serving the product of your choice to customers.
For further information, call our friendly team of coffee experts today on 01482 655020.