Tea in a cafe

The Missed Opportuni-tea

Brits love a good cuppa tea, but why is the nation's favourite drink consumed more often at home than in cafes and tearooms?

Consumers don’t believe the quality of tea is better in cafés than at home - we looked at the opportunity for the hospitality sector to change this

Here at BRITA we love a good cup of tea and always have a stock of different teas in the office so everyone can have their favourite brew. However for a nation known for its love of tea, there are surprisingly few options for Brits to grab a good cuppa while out of home. We took a closer look the nation's favourite drinks and why customers choose to enjoy their favourite cuppa tea at home instead of visiting cafes, tea rooms and restaurants. 

According to the figures, while 52% of consumers say the taste of coffee would make them choose to visit a café over another, 46% don’t believe the quality of tea is better in cafés than at home.

The findings show that 29% of consumers prefer the taste of tea when it’s made at home rather than served in a café. And, while 37% of consumers visit a café to drink coffee they can’t make at home, only 15% say the same for tea. This demonstrates an opportunity for cafes to improve their tea offering and tap into the 165 million cups that are consumed daily in the UK.  

What are consumers looking for in a quality hot drink?

A difference in consumers' view of what makes a quality hot beverage and what operators do was highlighted in our research. For consumers, the top three aspects are the machine used, if it’s made with filtered water and if artisanal coffee beans are used. Yet for baristas, the top three measures are using poor quality products, burnt or stale coffee beans and inexperienced staff. 

Britain's favourite types of tea

  1. Black tea with milk (78%)
  2. Green tea (39%)
  3. Fruit tea (34%)
  4. Herbal tea (33%)
  5. Black tea without milk (22%)

Jane Pettigrew, Founder of the UK Tea Academy

Jane Pettigrew UK Tea Academy

Tea out of home is usually pretty poor. It is getting better, but the majority of catering outlets still don’t give enough thought to tea. It is beginning to change and there are two reasons for that. Consumers are demanding better. And there are some really good tea companies out there who are now telling them, “Your tea is not good enough. You need to up your game”.

What the research shows is that using a water filter to make tea is a key consideration for cafe visitors. In fact, 67.1% of consumers know that using a filter on hot beverage machines helps to improve the taste and appearance and 46.6% use filtered water to make tea and coffee at home. Likewise, 44% of baristas believe the build-up of limescale on machinery caused by unfiltered water affects the taste of hot beverages the most. With a wide selection of high quality tea available for consumers to enjoy at home, cafes must work hard to serve delicious hot drinks in the best possible way if they want to compete. 

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