Is tea the Unsung Hero of the beverage category?
Different flavours, formats and packaging solutions are constantly hitting the shelves, giving South African shoppers a plethora of options to whet their taste buds. One could literally have a different drink for each day of the year, and then some. But amidst all the fancy formats and fiesta of flavours, lies the humble teabag.
With centuries of heritage and time-honoured traditions, the simple ritual of tea-making has stood the test of time amidst each new wave of trends and products. It’s no surprise really that it’s a feature of many novels and historical accounts, songs, and even nursery rhymes – think ‘I’m a little teapot short and stout’ and ‘Polly put the kettle on’.
So what has given the simple teabag the ability to withstand an ever-changing landscape of beverages and lifestyles? Is it the ritual of making tea itself, which has an almost sacred appeal?
Someone who knows all about the virtues of tea, is Jonathan Kelsey – Master Tea Blender for Joekels Tea, who blend and pack household tea brands like Tetley and Laager Rooibos. Kelsey, whose tongue and taste buds are famously insured for R5 million, says that tea doesn’t always get the kudos it deserves. “Tea is engrained in many South Africans’ routines and memories, not just for the obvious reasons – like the fact that it has the ability to lift tired spirits and warm you up on a cold day. One of the obvious reasons for tea’s popularity, which is often overlooked, is the cost factor.”
Kelsey goes on to point out that, second only to municipal water, tea is the cheapest beverage available. “You’re looking at around 40c to 50c for a cup of Laager Rooibos, and around 25c to 30c for a cup of Tetley Black tea. With many households struggling more than ever to make ends meet, tea is a product that remains affordable for the regular South African. Rooibos also has the added advantage of being caffeine-free so it can be enjoyed by the whole family.”
Courtesy of Food and Beverage Reporter – read full article here.