Gone are the days when young people escaped their woes with a cup of English Breakfast tea and a side of crumpets. Sales of ordinary black tea bags are plummeting, as Millennials are opting for different beverage choices.
Market research among U.K. residents shows that close to a third of adults ages 55 to 64 still have a cuppa at least five times a day, while only 16 percent of younger people ages 16 to 34 do the same, according to Metro.
What drinks are they sipping to wind down instead? Green and fruit teas. Green tea sales alone have increased nearly 40 percent over the last two years.
Mintel researcher Richard Caines suspects this is because Millennials are less likely to be loyal to one brand of tea, instead preferring to try new varieties. He also said research showed they were concerned about staining their teeth and drinking too much caffeine in the afternoon, according to The Guardian.
Others say it's because young people are too cool for traditional tea.
Food futurologist (yes, that's a thing) Morgaine Gaye said Millennials consider far more than taste when choosing beverages; for them, it's all about image. Food and drink, she said, are “about aspiration; showing how healthy, attuned and cool you are."
And a sorry ol' cup of black tea just doesn't cut it.
“A cup of English breakfast or builder’s tea is only cool when you are slumming it. You might have a cup of tea at your mum’s, but not when you are out or in a cafe because it doesn’t say anything,” she said.
Green tea, on the other hand, shows you give a darn about your longevity, and teas with passion fruit or blackberry notes show your "playful" side.
Plus, a colorful matcha latte racks up way more Instagram likes than the lifeless tunnel of doom that is a cup of black tea. Based on Millennials' obsession with food pics, a drink's photogenic properties are undoubtedly taken into consideration.
In the U.S., coffee, too, is becoming less popular among youths. Older Americans overwhelmingly prefer a cup of jo, while Millennials' preferences are split half and half between tea and coffee, according to Communicaffe.