Whether as an invigorating energy boost for the morning, an after-meal accompaniment or a habitual pick-me-up during business meetings, hot drinks have long been a staple in Malaysia's culture. The local beverage scene has recently seen a spike in interest towards tea as a viable substitute for coffee, mostly due to a health-conscious effort for a more wholesome lifestyle.
While coffee provides a much desired caffeine boost, studies have shown that excessive consumption can lead to increased cholesterol and high blood pressure. Not to mention the fact that coffee tends to be enhanced with cream and sugar to make its bitter taste more palatable, adding to the calorie count and cost. On the other hand, tea is seen as a healthier and more affordable alternative because it’s rich in antioxidants, lowers your risk for heart disease, and improves your brain's overall health. It tastes better on its own too!
Though cafes remain popular in Malaysia, tea is starting to share the same spotlight as coffee on menus. Cafes are not only starting to offer more variants of tea but also starting to make speciality offerings with it as well like fusion drinks and desserts. Experts foresee a compound annual growth rate of 2% until 2020 and tea consumption is expected to be on a constant high in the next few years. This healthy growth in numbers is further supported by a report from The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation that shows the most consumed beverage in the world, after water, is tea.