Although the majority of tea is still drunk at home in the UK, the amount consumed when out is rising to an average of 0.55 cups per week, according to findings in Allegra World Coffee Portal's Tea Out-of-Home UK 2016 report, backing up claims that tea is set to reclaim its position on the high street.
The slight uplift, combined with increased pricing has led to 2 per cent growth with the total out-of-home tea turnover across the coffee shop market estimated at £305m.
Black tea served with milk remains the most popular choice an online survey of 1,767 people found, with 62 per cent of consumers preferring to drink it that way. However, 34 per cent of tea drinkers believe coffee shops need to present a larger tea offering, showing potential for stocking a wider range, while almost half (49 per cent) are willing to spend more on a premium tea such as loose leaf tea.
Outlets with staff who pay attention to the way they serve tea could also benefit the business, the report found with 29 per cent of people surveyed believing they can make a better cuppa at home.
"In the long-term, tea innovation will be driven by the leading operators that are changing and improving the consumer out-of-home tea experience. Allegra expects there to be a surge in the number of premium tea bars on the UK High Street, following Starbucks’ acquisition of Teavana in the US and Unilever’s purchase of T2," it said.
"Additionally, the rise of innovative brewing technology will lead to growth of artisan tea bars, while the current trend for health and wellness will increase consumer demand for healthier beverage options wherever they are."