Has Coffee Finally Overtaken Tea as Britain’s Favourite Drink?

patriotic british man drinking tea during wet weather
Coffee Has Overtaken Teas as Britain's Fave Drinkpaul mansfield photography - Getty Images

According to the UK Tea & Infusions Associations, the British drink 100-million cups of tea every day. That’s almost 36 billion per year.

It’s safe to say that us Brits enjoy a good cuppa. But that may be all about to change with a new study suggesting that Britain’s love affair with tea may be coming to an end.

According to a study published in Statistica Global Consumer review, 63% of the 2,400 people surveyed said they regularly drank coffee compared with 59% who only drank tea. Shopping habits have changed, too, with more than 533 million packs of coffee bought in the supermarkets over the past 12 months compared with 287 million packs of tea, recent Kantar research found.

The British Coffee Association reports that Britons now drink about 98-million cups of coffee each day.

But why the change?

Food and drink expert Aidy Smith believes it could be down to tea’s lack of versatility, and its inability to excite and adapt to the modern world. Speaking to The Times, Smith said: ‘The truth is, tea is becoming outdated. While the country does clearly still embrace it, coffee just has an added dash of excitement.

‘There’s also so much you can do with coffee. The ability to serve it in so many ways with so many flavour variations and with such creativity has led to it being embraced on such a high level. I mean, what’s the equivalent of latte art with tea? Tea bag art? I don’t think so.’

There’s health benefits to be had, too.

close up of mans hand serving a coffee in a disposable cup at a coffee shop
Tara Moore - Getty Images

4 Health Benefits of Drinking Coffee

  1. According to one study, those who regularly drink coffee are less likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those who don’t.

  2. A study published in the Nagoya Journal of Medical Science concluded that people who drank two cups of coffee per day were 43% less likely to develop liver cancer than those who stayed caffeine-fee. Researchers believed this may be due to the compounds inside the dink that lower liver enzymes and slow progression of liver disease.

  3. According to this study, men who drank coffee an hour before their cycling workout completed their session faster than those who drank a control beverage.

  4. Coffee can enhance your mood, according to one study. The researchers from Harvard found that men who drank at least four cups of coffee per day were less likely to develop depression than those who drank none.

Tea still has its uses, in fact, regular consumption of tea has proven to improve health in numerous ways. Black tea, for example, is rich in chemicals called flavonoids that can help to lower high-cholesterol levels. Studies have also found tea’s antioxidants 'catechins' contribute to reductions in excess body fat. Tea is also rich in phytochemicals, which can reduce cell damage and improve glucose metabolism.

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