Monday, October 05, 2009

The threat to the great British brew

By Rowena Mason, London Telegraph,  finance section

Chucking away £2 a day at a trainee barista for a so-so coffee chain black americano always seems like a good idea when I’m hauling myself on to the tube every morning. But for an under-brewed cuppa from Starbucks (tepid water first, tea bag floating aimlessly on top)? That would just be too much.

Sadly though, we’re all going to have to get used to paying more for our Great British brew. Worldwide shortages of black tea leaves have pushed prices up 25% this year and research by:, shows that retailers are charging an average of £4.85 for 240 teabags – compared to £3 a year ago.

Kenya, exports 35% of the world's black tea

The surge in prices began in May, when auction averages soared to record levels, on the back of unseasonal droughts and shortages of fertiliser caused by high oil prices.

Meanwhile demand, especially in emerging markets has continued to grow, outpacing the growth of tea harvests. Now experts are even saying that stocks of tea may drop 10% next year.

For the more alarmist among you, start stockpiling now….


Robert said...

I love your blog. I thought you might like this link:

They are a new Tea Store and they are Giving away free tea.

小 約翰 said...

Thx Robert, good luck with BPT. john

Jason Witt said...

Alarmist? I've been known to be that about a few things in my time. But with tea I'm not worried. Because I just want to make sure I'll have my Puerh, and there's no news yet that it's threatened. --Teaternity

小 約翰 said...

Jason ..Unfortunately Pu-erh is not except form the vagaries of commerce. During my time in China I lived through a few excursion of: supply & demand, high and dropping prices. Poke through earlier postings and a few stories emerge. Just be careful, Pu-erh is profitable and easy to fake. john