Rise of tea-drinking in the USA

The Washington Post reports that tea’s health benefits have attracted many Americans.

“Nationally, tea purchases have risen for 20 consecutive years, annual supermarket sales have surpassed $2.2 billion, and away-from-home consumption of tea has grown by at least 10 percent a year for a decade, according to the Tea Association of the USA, a New York-based industry group. On any given day, the association says, 160 million Americans drink tea.”

“Although coffee is still king in the United States, change is brewing. Department of Agriculture statistics show tea drinking has increased as coffee drinking has declined: Per-person tea consumption was nine gallons in 2009, up from 7.3 gallons in 1980; per-person coffee consumption was 23.3 gallons in 2009, down from 26.7 gallons in 1980, about half what it was in the mid-1940s.”


Global history of South Asian tea

Tea Parties: Britishness, Global Cultures and Imperial Legacies

from Erika Diane Rappaport website at University of California, Santa Barbara

“This project explores the global history of South Asian tea from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. It does so to interrogate the ways in which commodities materiallized national and imperial identies within and beyond the British Empire.”

Paper at North American Conference on British Studies, Montreal, 10 Nov. 2012: The Temperance Tea Party: Free Trade, Sacred Tastes and the Sober Consumer in Victorian Britain

Coffee v. tea: is India falling for the cappuccino

The BBC looks at a recently popular question, the challenge that coffee poses to tea in India.  In 2010 India consumed 837,000 tons of tea as compared with 108,000 tons of coffee.  The humble tea wallah soon will face competition from Starbucks as well as from established coffee house chains such as Cafe Coffee Day (founded 1996) that has more than 1200 outlets.  Other chains include Barista Lavazza and Costa Coffee.  India does not have an alcoholic bar culture, so the coffee house is attractive as a place, particularly for young people, as well as for its beverage.  By the way, coffee is a well-established drink in south India where kapi is popular.  Finally, in India the American-based chain Dunkin’ Donuts plants to establish itself as a food service company and not as a coffee house.


Tea in Toronto (article)

Keith Welden, “Tea in Toronto and the Liberal Order, 1880–1914,” Canadian Historical Review 93/1 (March 2012): 1-24.
Abstract in English:
Although afternoon tea was a cornerstone of sociability in the late Victorian and Edwardian periods, there is little information about its lived experience. Most discussions of tea in scholarly literature are based on information contained in advice books. Drawing especially from the reporting found in Saturday Night magazine, this article provides a more realistic understanding of how the rite was conducted in Toronto. Further, it argues that as a device intended to promote circulation in the modern city, tea was linked fundamentally to an emerging liberal order. As problems associated with tea became more pronounced with the growth of the city, the location of tea began to shift from domestic to commercial settings, and the scale of gatherings began to be much more intimate. While the lure of commercial culture undoubtedly pulled women downtown, they were also pushed there by the mounting inconvenience of a primary social ritual.