STiR coffee and tea magazine

Volume 3, Number 5

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 51 of 93

52 STiR tea & coffee industry international he national drink of Argentina is Yerba Mate, the famous Latin American herbal brew made from the leaves of a member of the holly family called Ilex Paraguarienses. Mate underpins the culture throughout the country and is such a strong part of Argentinian life that other beverages find it hard to carve out a place in the market. Tea has always played a very small role and if Argentinians did drink tea in the past, it was usually because they had a very strong European family background and had grown up with tea, or because they were sick, or they lived in the tea producing region. Misiones in the north is where tea and mate are sometimes blended together and drunk strong and bitter with either sugar or orange peel. The only region where tea is a predictable part of everyday life is Patagonia in southern Argentina, which was settled in the 1860s by immigrants from Wales. Being very British and therefore avid tea drinkers, these Welsh-Argentinians continued their custom of taking tea with cakes, breads, and pastries when they reached their cool, sometimes cold, new homeland. New interest in tea But all the old patterns are changing. Euromonitor recently reported a volume growth in retail sales of tea of 19.8% between 2006 and 2011, and forecasts a further increase in volume of 12.3% by 2016. Their report explains the trend as a result of consumers "turning to healthy products. Tea in Argentina has a reputation as a healthier drink than coffee, competing as an 'after-meal' drink. However, tea is also evolving as a drink to be enjoyed on other occasions and not just after a meal." Victoria Bisogno, president of Charming Blends and El Club del Té in Buenos Aires, has kept a keen eye on developments and says that, "People are drinking more tea, and there are more tea houses and catering outlets where you can drink coffee, have lunch and dinner but also drink good tea and enjoy afternoon tea, especially in the wealthier areas." In Palermo and the north eastern suburbs of Buenos Aires, there are a number of Starbucks and branches of Le Pain Quotidien which are popular as social gathering places, especially for girls celebrating birthdays, she said. "These stores sell a range of Argentina's Newfound Love of Tea In a land where Yerba Mate dominates the beverage market, tea is making an impressive breakthrough. Jane Pettigrew explores the upward trend in tea consumption and discusses the changes in the market, the influences, and the trends in consumer preferences. T By Jane Pettigrew

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of STiR coffee and tea magazine - Volume 3, Number 5