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What percentage of people do you think have sugar in their tea? You might be surprised!

Emerald study reveals worldwide tea drinking habits

Bingley, United Kingdom, 4 July 2016 – New research from Emerald Group Publishing has revealed that adding sugar to tea is surprisingly popular, with 87.4% of people adding an average of two teaspoons of sugar to their tea every day.  

The research ‘Various preparation conditions of tea infusion: a worldwide questionnaire’ by authors Maysoon AlHafez, Fadi Kheder and Malak AlJoubbeh, has also shown that, of those that do not use sugar, only 26.1% use other sweeteners. The most reported reason for not making the addition is the fear it will interfere with the health benefits drinking tea can provide. 

These benefits include the ability to inhibit the development of cancers of the skin, lung, esophagus, stomach, liver, duodenum and small intestine. Tea also has an antioxidant capacity and antimicrobial properties, which can prevent the development of kidney stones. Drinking tea for its content of caffeine isn’t seen as an important reason.

It has also been discovered that the highest proportion of people - 44.7% - drink two to three cups of tea a day; 42.4% drink zero to one cup; and 12.9% drink four or more. 

The most popular tea is black tea, with 95.4% of people preferring it; followed by green tea at 4.6%; and white tea at 0.1%. The most widely used additive is peppermint, followed by lemon and cinnamon, with only a small proportion of people using lavender. 

Co-author of the paper, Maysoon AlHafez, said: “We felt the best way to uncover the public’s tea drinking habits was through an online questionnaire. 

”Consumers should be the target for any research in nutrition and food science – and, with the popularization of online surveys, researchers aren’t restricted to classical research methods any longer.”

‘Various preparation conditions of tea infusion: a worldwide questionnaire’ is free to access until 11 July and can be viewed here

The authors are available for interviews. 


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