‘Can I offer you a cup of tea?’ This is a simple question that opens many interactions; greeting a friend, consoling a family member or breaking the ice at a business meeting. Whether at home or work, the exchange of cups of tea is a universal language understood by everyone. Joel Golby of the Guardian has recently published a controversial article, questioning the national obsession with tea. In his words he states, ‘We just putter along, thinking tea is good; but it’s not good.’ He claims that we cherish this hot beverage simply out of habit, not from any real attachment.
However, tea has had a dramatic upgrade in recent years, taking it from the humble English breakfast brew to a dizzying array of loose leaf blends, caffeine-free fruit teas and health-giving ‘Super Teas’. These promise everything from lowering blood pressure, to improving skin, hair and general ‘radiance’. There was a time when a cup of tea meant me-time or a short break in a busy work day. Tetley Tea reintroduced their iconic Tetley Tea Folk in 2010 and are currently ‘on a mission’ to revive the workplace tea break, using a Facebook campaign and hashtag (#TeaMaker) to encourage tea making in the office.
These days tea has taken on a social conscience in addition to its many health giving properties. So what does ‘a cuppa’ promise us in 2015?
Happiness, calm, wellness, slimming, anti-ageing, cleansing, detoxifying are just some of the fabulous benefits that teas claim to offer the drinker. The last 10 years have seen an explosion in the popularity and diversity of tea. This is largely thanks to clever PR which has made the most of our quest for perfection in increasingly high-pressure lives. Fruit juice which was once seen as a healthy option is now known to contain large amounts of sugar, and stress-related conditions affect around 12 million UK adults. The tea industry has been able to capitalise on a gap in the market for a healthy, accessible drink that can deliver numerous health improvements. Leading premium tea brand, Teapigs offers a large range of teas from incredibly healthy choices, to the dessert-like ‘Chocolate and Mint’. Whilst enjoying a cup of tea the drinker can rest assured that their purchase will not only support the health and wellbeing of the community of growers, but the tea also carries sound ecological credentials.
As Joel Golby points out, any impromptu visitors can expect an apology if an adequate cup of tea cannot be provided. Being able to offer a cup of tea at any given moment is so intrinsic to the British psyche that is part of how individuals ‘PR themselves’. Not only should tea be offered, the selection can now say a lot about who we are and what we value.
We at Simpler PR are definitely an office of tea lovers. We often partake in several rounds of tea per day, we cherish our personalised mugs and we boast an extensive tea collection which takes us through the day. In spite of arguments to the contrary, we think tea still has an important place in our daily lives, and our extensive range of teas says much about our diverse and creative team!
To find out more about what we do, give us a call on 01494 793501 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Let us know if you’re planning to drop by; we’ll put the kettle on!