27 Sep 2022

Afternoon Tea: The New HappyHour Drink

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Freshly made afternoon tea & mint leaves

Afternoon Tea is a meal composed of sandwiches cut into tiny pieces called fingers, alongside scones, pastries or cakes. Out of this spread scones were not a common feature until its introduction to afternoon teas in the twentieth century. 

Afternoon Tea was started as a private social event for ladies who had reached a certain high stature in society. But once Queen Victoria engaged in the Afternoon Tea ritual, it was then it became a formal occasion on a larger scale, known as ‘tea receptions’.

These tea receptions were an affair for up to two hundred people with an invitation for at home tea between 4-7PM. During this guests could come and go as they pleased; this was the genesis of the Afternoon Tea as we know it. In the modern times, the western world tea parties specially for the British has turned to a pre gathering of friends & family before a big function like a wedding or a casual get together of friends. 

During the pandemic that went on for over two years, people’s behaviour also made a major shift with lifestyle changes. Since people were spending more time at home their eating habits and grocery hauls changed over the time. The one sector that changed evidently wa sthe tea industry. Food and beverage experts are citing 2022 as the year in which consumers prioritise products that not only deliver functional benefits but also improve personal health and wellbeing.

Here are some trends that are expected to emerge in the tea sector in 2022:

Adaptogenic: Healthy Teas 

Tea drinking with sunshine & meditation

An adaptogen is a plant extract. Consuming this is believed to increase the body’s ability to fight the damaging effects of stress and inflammation. It also promotes normal physiological functioning. People have been adding healing herbs to their teas since centuries now. Some of the most common ones are ginger, turmeric, chamomile and ginseng. To make it easier for time-constrained consumers, adaptogens have now been added to Rooibos products. 

Afternoon Tea Customisation 

A tea bag being dipped in hot water

Customization is the biggest consumer plus when it comes to anything we purchase these days. When it comes to your daily beverage this could just alone be the biggest selling point for a drink. Being able to design your own tea by mixing different flavours for a unique taste is a brilliant advantage for tea drinkers. Not only can one make it healthy but also as per teh herbs & flavours of their liking. For the time sensitive generations, ready to drink cold teas are also becoming a popular choice in order to replace them with the regular sodas or other unhealthy packed drinks. 

Afternoon Tea experiences

An afternoon tea spread with snacks

Tea lovers seek restaurants & cafes that have a varied tea menu instead of the standard one or two options. A popular amongst the afternoon tea culture or tea lovers is the freshly brewed tea leaves right in front of them. There are unique and delicious freshly brewed teas available with the likes of hibiscus, my personal favourite from the diverse tea menus. This diverse choice of flavours also makes tea the relaxing and soothing beverage for a daily choice. 

Tea Cocktails & Mocktails

A mocktail or cocktail made out of tea base

In the world of trends a healthy habit trend has started. Wherein people prefer to stay sober and fewer people are inclined towards heavy use of alcohol on a night out. Tea-based drinks are becoming a staple in trendy bars and pubs worldwide these days. Tea makes for an ideal base ingredient and offers a much greater variety of options when it comes to mixing alcoholic and even non-alcoholic drinks. It also adds a different dimension to many old favourite cocktail formats.

Gifting Afternoon Teas

A gift box with variety of afternoon tea

The healthy teas & teas with added herbs has also become a popular gift idea. Tea is no longer a simple grocery item anymore. High quality, premium tea has become a thing of sophisticated consumption. Especially younger consumers who are eager to try new tea varieties and different brewing techniques. The trend is likely to boost sales of tea ware and accessories, such as infusers and strainers, along with gourmet teas and customised blends in fancy packaging ideal for gifting.

So switch to afternoon teas as your preferred beverage choice after lunch. Go healthy & feel relaxed with the soothing teas. Explore the tea range available at your one-stop grocery app, Milkbasket!


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