Joyce Maina, Founder & Director Cambridge Tea Consultancy

Let’s face it, everyone want to eat better and drink better, right?

Maybe, maybe not…But here are my thoughts on tea.

Discovered more than 5000 years ago in China, tea is now so ubiquitous in our lives today that most take it for granted.

“It is just leaves in a tea bag. Pour in hot water and you have a brew, how complicated can it be?” I hear you ask.

You are missing out – it is a whole lot more exciting than that.

A glimpse into the journey of the leaves from the bush to your cup is an eye opener to tea appreciation – all 6 types of tea (White, green, yellow, oolong, black and dark) can be made from the same plant, and  the ingredients are leaves and air only – it doesn’t get more natural, vegan or free-from than that!

Premiumisation starts right from the gardens – electing to plant the right tea, caring for it in a sustainable, traceable way and making the right quality. It is about adding perceptible value to tea and purple tea growing in Kenya is a good example of this.

Once the leaves are dried they are sold in tea bags, loose, milled (like matcha), liquid, powder or even in shapes like Puerh blocks – format plays a big part in making the offering a more attractive, valuable heightened experience.

There is more than great visuals and taste – tea drinkers seek a cup of wellness fitting into the healthy lifestyle they want to live; teas with benefits from digestion to sleep, beauty, energy and immunity.

Most of these teas include herbs, fruits, flavours, vitamins and even cultures like kombucha. “Tea” is no longer just camelia sinensis – it is a plant-based drink of choice that is good for me. If it delivers that then I am happy to spend a bit more on it.

There is a movement, a revolution happening gradually but truly in tea, and the events of this unforgettable year have made us re-focus on our health, our bodies and what we put in them.