Tea losing popularity among youngsters

Last Updated: Oct 22, 2010, 09:47 AM IST

New Delhi: Despite being a popular beverage in India, tea is losing popularity amongst youngsters, a study Thursday said. The main reason being cited 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 percent people believed that it was an unhealthy drink that causes acidity and nausea.

Gautam Mukherjee, a scientist with the Hindustan Unilever Research Centre, said: `There are several myths about tea which are contributing towards its declining popularity, especially amongst youngsters.`

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

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

`There are all kinds of misconceptions regarding 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 because that 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 something hip like 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.

IANS