Teens and Tea


Trends and Tips on developing and operating a tea business.

Teens and Tea

Postby Queen » Dec 19th, '07, 19:43

In a world of Rock Star energy drinks and starbucks on every corner, how do we get the teen market turned on to drinking tea?
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Postby Wesli » Dec 19th, '07, 19:52

Awwww, shucks.


I thought this was a porn spam.


Onward. :arrow:
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Postby Queen » Dec 19th, '07, 20:01

I have never participated in a tea chat before. Your reply, fukamushi, reinforces the why. Can one pose a serious question on this chat? Or, are you simply looking for porn spam?
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Postby Space Samurai » Dec 19th, '07, 21:27

I don't see Queen's response anymore, but she/he seemed a little determined to get a serious answer, so here goes...

My short answer, there isn't a way, well, not much of one.

Tea is boring. Its all about nuance and history and culture, not things of great interest to average teenagers. Yes, you can try to spice it up, make it interesting, which leads us to the "gateway" teas, fruity concoctions that are more similar to juice than tea. This works, but many remain unaware that tea can get better than Celestial Seasonings.

Tea is not in our culture, its not in theirs, its not in their parent's; they have few ways of being exposed to it. So like any other hobby, interest, or worth while pursuit, its kind of up to them to find tea decide for themselves. It is what it is.

But isn't that part of the fun? Tea wasn't something everyone else around us was drinking, we found it ourselves or it found us. I think many here have stories about their first cup of tea.
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teens, tea

Postby Queen » Dec 19th, '07, 21:36

Your answer rings true on the one part - boredom; culture - but might be a bit too pat in its dismissal: kids are buying up bottled water by the bucketload, and the more expensive or high-profile or teen rebel the pitch is, the more the kids will buy.

I think kids could convert to tea if they were exposed to high quality whole leaf tea, and could get it in the same comfortable environment as the coffee shops provide: sofas, lighting, internet access, alcoves of near-privacy.

Can the coffee shop and tea shop coexist to provide a quality cup of your choice of beverage? Is that the way to get kids exposed?
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Postby Space Samurai » Dec 19th, '07, 23:11

I think you miss-understood my use of the word "culture." I am not saying they are not cultured, I am saying tea is about other people's culture, which may not be something they have time or interest for.

Out of curiousity, why the urge to get the teens of America drinking tea?
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Re: teens, tea

Postby scruffmcgruff » Dec 20th, '07, 02:49

Queen wrote:Can the coffee shop and tea shop coexist to provide a quality cup of your choice of beverage? Is that the way to get kids exposed?


Well, where I come from, pearl milk tea/bubble tea/boba shops are fairly popular with teens, though generally it is the Asian population that frequents them most (as they are almost all Taiwanese or Chinese run, this isn't entirely surprising). The one I like is very much a coffee shop setting, where you can sit down, talk, play board games if you want, etc. All in all, it's pretty fun. Most of the time though, people just get the pearl milk teas, not "real" hot teas. I'm guessing it's just part of the American addiction to sugar, which is unlikely to change any time soon.
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Postby bambooforest » Dec 20th, '07, 07:37

I am no expert on the current tea trend in Asia...

However, I have heard that even in countries which do have a long history of tea, coffee is nevertheless gaining significant popularity among the younger generation. This being true in Japan, Taiwan, and probably China too.

Considering this, it seems to me that teen's in America getting into tea doesn't seem very likely in the foreseeable future.

I hope my forecast is wrong though, considering the health benefits of this product.

Tea, even under the most ideal of circumstances, requires a touch of patience and mental investment. Teen's probably prefer the simplicity of a bottled rink, or a cup of coffee over the brewing of fine tea.

But who knows, time will tell.
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Postby Chip » Dec 20th, '07, 15:14

I have to agree with Bamboo... patience is required to enjoy a fine tea. I just cannot see a bunch of guys getting together and saying, "hey let's go to my house and I will make some fukamushi I just got from Japan, it really rocks."

The rare teen who does relish the precious tea moments, usually does it in the prefered peace and quiet of solitude where he/she can fully appreciate tea.

There is just no peer pressure element to enjoying tea, no danger element.
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Postby Wesli » Dec 20th, '07, 15:29

I know exactly how to get teens involved in tea.


...



But these are secrets I am keeping for my tea business.
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Postby ABx » Dec 20th, '07, 19:31

I'm no expert, but I would imagine that you'd have to start by deciding what kind of teens you want there. You aren't going to get all the different cliques and subcultures in one space, but you can probably get one or two.

If you want high school and college kids that are trying to study, then make an atmosphere that's conducive to that and provide mind boosters and descriptions that talk about the mental effects of the teas (and, of course, caffeinated drinks).

A lot of the outside the mainstream (including geeks) like to just have a place where they can gather with a group of friends and talk into the late hours.

Novelty goes a long way with teens, too, whether it's just names, descriptions, and decorations, or novel drink mixes (maybe herbal stuff like kava, although you might need to be careful with kava in particular). Anything "different". You might offer at least a few of the finer teas as well, just to see if they are open to trying them.

The best thing you could probably do would be to talk to some teens in your area.
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Postby tomasini » Dec 21st, '07, 23:21

im 19. i was 16 when i started drinking tea. i have quite a few teenaged friends that drink tea.
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Postby Chip » Dec 21st, '07, 23:31

...were you the first Fukamushi Gang in the USA?
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Postby Mich » Feb 13th, '08, 00:36

I am 17 and drink tea every day. All diffrent kinds of yancha black white etc but none of my friends really love tea like I do. Its just off the mainstream.
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Postby Carnelian » Feb 14th, '08, 14:00

Being a tea-drinking teen (17 now, drinking tea habitually since 15) I can say that at least with the teens I encounter, they do drink tea, technically. I see countless lipton bottles and arizona cans around school, while I carry my travel mug of freshly brewed from loose leaf.

The problem I see is that teens are used to, A) not waiting for what they want, so the pre-made bottles and cans help here, B) having highly flavored/enhanced/sugary beverages, this I blame on coffee abominations and energy drinks, and C) Being cheap

So getting an average teenager to sit and wait for steeping times, be expected to enjoy the flavor of the tea with limited or no sugar, and pay a premium price for the leaves just isn't likely to happen. At least not when they can just go the gas station and buy that can of arizona with honey and ginseng for $1.99
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