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Is tea losing the battle to coffee?

india Updated: Oct 31, 2010 00:44 IST

Despite being a popular beverage in India, tea is losing its popularity amongst youngsters, a recent study said. The main reason cited by the study is that, it's not considered a "cool" beverage like coffee.

The study, conducted by the Brooke Bond Tea Council, surveyed 1,200 respondents across 12 cities in the country. One of the surprising revelation was that although it's the most popular beverage, 77 per cent people believed that it was an unhealthy drink that causes acidity and nausea. Gautam Mukherjee, from Hindustan Unilever Research Centre, said, “There are several myths about tea, which are contributing towards its declining popularity, especially amongst youngsters."

“Tea is a hydrating drink, has one-third the amount of caffeine than coffee. Tea has various elements like flavonoids, which makes it good for the heart and L-Theanine known for its mind benefits,” he said.

Because of its flavonoid content, nutritionist Anjali Mukherjee said tea intake should be encouraged among kids — debunking another myth that tea is not good for children.

“There are all kinds of misconceptions about tea. It is rich in flavonoids, so it should be encouraged among children so that the healthy habit starts young — especially in our country, where so many people are becoming heart patients,” Mukherjee said.

“In fact, I recommend three cups of tea a day as it contains the right amount of flavonoids and L-Theanine. You can have black, red, green or even milk tea. Also, tea is good if you are watching your weight because depending on the amount of sugar you take, you can cut the calories to almost zero,” she added.

Talking about the youth and tea, Mukherjee said, “People are moving away from natural food to processed food. Instead of fruits, they prefer canned juices and instead of whole wheat, they like burgers. Similarly, instead of tea, they prefer other beverages like colas or coffee.”

To change the mindset and re-popularise tea, Brooke Bond constituted the Tea Council to spread awareness about the drink. The council comprises nutritionists, scientists and a tea planter.

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