When it comes to tea, many consumers are looking for something that offers them functional benefits. Picture: Pexels/Olga Mironova
When it comes to tea, many consumers are looking for something that offers them functional benefits. Picture: Pexels/Olga Mironova

7 healthy tea trends that are here to stay

By Viwe Ndongeni-Ntlebi Time of article published Jun 23, 2021

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Tea has been used for thousands of years as a beverage of choice, not just in winter but throughout the year.

In recent years, tea lovers have increased because of the health benefits such as helping with certain ailments or wanting to reduce their caffeine intake.

When It comes to tea, many consumers are looking for something that offers them functional benefits.

Health is increasingly a priority and benefits such as immunity, relaxation and sleep, and heart health because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here’s a look at key tea trends that are happening right now.

Whether these current tea trends were spurred on by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, or an overall movement toward wanting to be healthier, these will be a delight to any tea lover.

1. Rooting for health

The health benefits of ginger are widely known, and fresh ginger has often been brewed with tea to boost the health benefits.

However, with the cost of ginger rising, many are turning to ginger flavoured teas to add the fresh aroma and flavour of ginger to their favourite hot beverage.

2. More South Africans go green

As one of the fastest growing teas on the South African market at the moment, green tea is enjoying its time in the sun.

According to Tetley Master Tea Blender, Jonathan Kelsey, “green tea is made from the same plant as regular tea, but it is unfermented allowing it to retain a lot of its natural benefits”.

“As a result, Green tea is high in antioxidants which help to protect your cells.”

Green tea is also increasingly being used as a base for iced teas and smoothies to boost their health benefits.

3. Tea-infused cocktails and mocktails

With South Africans staying home more, many are experimenting with home-made cocktails or mocktails using a range of different flavours and ingredients.

An ingredient that is growing in popularity as a base for cocktails and mocktails both locally and abroad is the naturally-sweet Rooibos.

Tebo and Lebo Ndala, Twin chefs and foodies from With love from Twins note, “we love experimenting with rooibos because it gives any drink an added depth of flavour and boosts the health benefits”.

4. Calming chamomile

Although not technically a tea but rather a herbal tincture, chamomile is seeing rising popularity thanks to its inherent ability to aid sleep and relaxation.

Laager marketing manager Candice Sessions notes that, “chamomile and rooibos are a great combo because they are both caffeine free and naturally soothing beverages – making them the perfect choice when you want to wind down at any time of the day or night”.

5. The spice of life

They say variety is the spice of life and many South Africans agree when it comes to tea.

South Africans are increasingly experimenting with flavours, herbs and spices when it comes to tea to supplement the existing health benefits.

Traditionally prepared according to Indian custom, spice teas (or chais) are becoming increasingly popular, for their rich warming flavours and aromas and the underlying benefits offered by the blend of spices used to prepare them.

While these five trends by no means, represent all that is going on in our tea industry, it is a good start to understand where our industry is headed, in terms of the customer

6. Ingredients in tea

In addition to the classic ingredients for herbal tea such as chamomile, lavender or ginger, more and more traditionally used and in western countries less familiar plants are appearing on the market.

Turmeric, typically used as spice in the Asian and Indian cuisine, is becoming increasingly important for drinks and especially tea.

It is said to be antioxidative and immune system supporting, as well as good for digestion.

In combination with ginger, such tea is popular against colds and stomach aches.

Similar to turmeric, holy basil also derives from India and is the most widely used medicinal herb in herbal teas there.

7. Desert tea

One of the most prominent tea trends of recent times, dessert teas are ideal for consumers looking to indulge their sweet tooth but still being healthy.

Advanced bio-tech dessert teas utilise natural botanics and flavours to replicate popular dessert flavours such as chocolate, vanilla, and even more complex fare such as tiramisu and red velvet cupcakes.

A popular choice in cafés across the globe as well as in the pantries of wellness-minded consumers, dessert teas work as an excellent replacement for those with high blood sugar, diabetes, or who are simply looking to stay on track while still enjoying sweets.

Herbs like cinnamon and ginger are blended with notes of citrus, chocolate, and fruit to create these zero-guilt treats.

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