First things first, we need to have a look at the developments that tea and coffee are affected from in order to interpret the current situation today.
To begin with, tea dwells within its own culture that has cultivated around it, securing its position with each passing day, not only in our country but in the whole world. The tea culture is so powerful that, the global tea market that is worth US$ 14,45 billion in 2016 is estimated to reach US$ 21.33 billion in value in 2024 according to data by MarketWatch.
Even though tea is brewed and consumed in different ways based on the varying palatal delights and cultures of countries, (owing to its high antioxidant level and the common knowledge that herbal infusion is good for health on several counts) its significance and popularity has been on the rise lately under the influence of “wellness” trend. It is not only about the ever-increasing number of tea-based drinks and beverages on the menus. It is further worth mentioning the parallel increase in the different variety of tea being used in alcoholic drinks recipes.
One of the biggest trends in the global tea market last year has been the cold brewed tea. Inspired by cold brewed coffee, this technique allows for dividing the taste of tea into flavor, scent and sensation within the mouth. Along with the artisanal tea producers around the world, the global tea giant Lipton also launched its cold brew tea range in line with this trend.
As a society that loves tea this much, we did not fall behind the evolving tea trends around the world. As we all know, tea has a quite distinct place in Turkish people’s lives. When we have a look at the per capita tea consumption, Turkey is, by far, the number one.3 It is evidenced in the modern and artisanal tea places that have been opening up especially in big cities. One of the pioneers of these modern tea places is Dem. It is where you can match your palate with 60 varieties of tea and find whatever you are looking for, whether it be strong or light, scented or unscented and find out about the history of teas that you are interested in. On the other hand, Chado brings together special teas from different regions around the world and you can not only sample these specially imported teas but create your own blend as well.
Another – important – step in terms of modern and artisanal tea places comes from Starbucks. Starbucks, while presenting their plans for the year 2017, has announced that their tea store chain Teavana will be opening in Turkey. Teavana will be just like Starbucks but instead of coffee, everything will be strictly about tea. As a matter of fact, Starbucks forecasts that in the near future, two thirds of their revenue will be generated from tea and the remaining one third will be from coffee.
Not only tea but coffee as well has been going through changes in itself. With the accelerated pace of life, people now prefer to take their caffeine while on the go. That being said, retailers are trying out new ways to acceletate the order process and to increase the frequency of purchase. On the other hand, the increased interest in “specialty” coffees has introduced the third wave, the pinnacle of coffee so far, into our lives.
The third wave coffee makers are the ones who get the coffee beans and roast them themselves and try new preparation and brewing techniques. At this point, the origin of coffee beans and the method used in processing them become crucially important. Details such as qualified coffee, qualified beans and production of beans with distinctive flavors do stand out here as baristas constantly seek for the best by developing new methods of brewing.
Petra, Kronotrop ve MOC are examples of this trend that values and appreciates coffee. Nevertheless, you don’t need to go somewhere in order to drink third wave coffee. Just like tea, it is possible to find coffee online. For example, web sites such as Kafeingo import coffee beans, roast the variety of your choice according to your liking and deliver to your door.
Cold brewed coffee is an important outcome of the third wave coffee trend. Cold coffee is introducing a new field of interest in the ground coffee format, one that is more exacting and that involves more intense methods.
Grady's and Chameleon Cold Brew are the original brands to pioneer the rapidly developing cold coffee industry, closely followed by brands like Peet’s Coffee and Tea and Starbucks. The cold coffee trend has reached a level of demand high enough to enable preparation at home. Starbucks has recently introduced the Cold Brew Pitcher packages that enable consumers to prepare Starbucks cold brewed coffee at home. The concept of cold brewing coffee at home is an important innovation for consumers within the context of domestic consumption. Different flavors, extra ingredients or selection of milk, namely the functionality and customization possibilities it brings about, can be classified as the potential reasons for expanding the cold coffee portfolio.
While the tea and coffee industry keeps on changing dramatically, we have conducted a research to find out how the trends are performing and emerging in Turkey. Our research comprised of 100 females and males who are 18-45 years of age, AB/C1/C2 SES and live in İstanbul.
95% of people we interviewed said that they were consuming tea. The ones that consume coffee make up of 89% of the interviewees. When the ones who drink both were asked which one they drank more, 74% replied that they preferred tea.
When the ones who drank tea were asked whether they drank it at home or not, 95% replied affirmatively. 34% of these people said that they added different materials and ingredients or prepared blends while making tea at home. They generally indicated that they did so by “blending two varieties of tea” or by “adding linden, mint, cinnamon, ginger, rose hip, cloves, honey and bergamot”. When they were asked why they were adding different ingredients into the tea, the replies were “in order to make its flavor more pleasant”, “in order to make a higher-quality tea”, “for the aroma” and “because it is more healthy”. Black tea is preferred at home almost completely (85%). The rest prefers herbal tea or white tea.
84% of the interviewees drink tea outside of home. The majority of the said percentage drinks black tea. Apart from black tea, herbal tea, green tea, winter tea or white tea are the varieties that are drunk outside of home. The ones who drink melange tea prepared by adding different materials, ingredients and aromas or by blending different tea varieties make up of 15% of the interviewees. Among these are the winter tea that is more laborsome to prepare at home, linden, herbal tea or chai tea latte.
4 out of 10 interviewees stated that they were drinking tea at coffee-houses such as Starbucks or Kahve Dunyasi. When they were told about the concept of Teavana, the tea chain that is going to be opened by Starbucks, and asked of their opinions, most of them replied affirmatively and said they would like to give it a try and 68% said they would consider going. Even though it is a concept that does not appeal to the ones who prefer black tea, the majority of the interviewees stated that they would consider going there for reasons such as “it would allow for sampling teas outside of our culture”, “they would like to sample different aromas and see if they fit their palate”, “out of curiosity” or simply “because they like tea”.
The ones who replied that they would not go there said so “because they wouldn’t like to pay a lot for tea” or “they preferred classic places”.
When they were asked of “the most exotic tea they have tried so far”, the answers were along the lines of “bergamot tea”, “smuggled tea”, “soda tea”, “magical break the spell tea”, “pear tea”, “afghani green tea” or “echinacea tea”.
The section of the research that examined coffee consumption revealed that 92% of the interviewees consumed coffee at home. The preference is mainly with the classical one: 67% drinks Turkish coffee. Instant coffee and filter coffee come after Turkish coffee.
The percentage of the ones who add different ingredients or materials while making coffee at home is 14%. Some of these ingredients are “honey”, “gum mastic” and “chocolate”.
The percentage of the interviewees who drink coffee outside of home is 83%. Turkish coffee is drunk the most and 10% drink Nescafé, 7% drink mocha, 3% drink latte and 3% drink americano. The probability to prefer coffees that are harder to prepare at home tends to increase when the coffee is consumed outside of home.
Only 2% of the interviewees have heard about “third wave coffee” and all of the ones who heard of it have tried it. When the ones who had not heard of it were told about “third wave coffee” and asked of their opinions, the answers were “different aromas would do well in coffee” and “discovering new flavors would be nice”. Some interviewees remarked that they loved traditional flavors and didn’t consider trying unusual ones.
When they were asked of “the most exotic coffee they have tried so far”, the answers were along the lines of “Mardin coffee”, “strawberry coffee”, “myrrh”, “sand coffee”, “Bosnian coffee”, “mortar coffee”, “turpentine coffee”, “coffee with Bodrum tangerine” and “the new year’s coffee at Starbucks”.
It wouldn’t be expected that tea and coffee, that is a big part of our lives, to stay indifferent to what’s going on around us: We have come to know the artisan tea and third wave coffee in such an environment. However, it appears that although we bump into the artisanal tea concept and the third wave coffee enthusiasts in an increasing manner, Turkish coffee and black tea do not seem likely to abdicate their throne easily.
Nonetheless, we will yet to see while sipping our tea and coffee, how the increasing desire of even the traditional consumers to sample different flavors or, as one participant puts it, the motivation “to know different cultures at least over tea and coffee” will affect the local market dynamics in the upcoming days, how the drinks and beverages brands will adopt to these new conditions and how it will all affect other categories...