Tea flagging in the UK

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A classic mug of milky tea.

TEA is no longer the UK’s favourite hot drink outside the home, a new survey has revealed.

The rise of chains such as Starbucks and Costa means that Britons now drink two and a half cups of coffee for every cup of tea outside the home, amounting to 2.1 billion versus 874 million annually.

Tea consumption, meanwhile, has dropped by 19 per cent since 2010.

Brewed or filtered coffee is also on the wane, making up just 23 per cent of sales, while cappuccinos, lattes and Americanos dominate the market.

The figures, published by market research group NPD, show that cappuccino is currently the nation’s favourite with 486 million cups sold last year.

The UK’s coffee consumption is now the third most important in Europe behind Italy (4.78 billion cups per year) and France (2.27 billion), while Spain is ranked fourth (1.77 billion).

NPD spokesperson Muriel Illig said: “As coffee climbs then tea is teetering – it really needs to fight back.”

“The share of tea in a country famed for its love of this beverage has slipped significantly and the thirst for speciality coffees completely swamps demand for speciality teas.”

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