Tea trends in Scandinavia

Alexis in a Da Hong Pao garden

If you are in Europe and you are wondering if where you can find tea that is sourced by Seven Cups, and you are in Denmark, then please stop by Simply Tea. The owner is Alexis Kaae. She has been to China with us the last to years, and we are so happy to have her as a strategic partner in Europe.  She sent me the following post about tea market in Scandinavia. She is having an important impact there by offering some of outstanding teas that are rarely found there, and by doing a lot of teaching and tasting.

Scandinavians are some of the biggest coffee drinkers in the world and are likely to remain that way according to a report by Reuters.

However a large majority of Scandinavians are well traveled people including many students. It is now the norm for students to spend their sabbatical or even part of their studies in Asian countries giving them the added advantage of experiencing good quality teas in the country of origin. This trend seems to be on the increase as young well educated men and women search for teas often experienced in China, Japan and India. It seems their main problem is finding it in Europe.

Very few teashops in Denmark have a good selection of top quality loose leaf tea and the ones that do have, have probably had it in stock for a good long while…

The few major tea companies in Denmark and Scandinavia supply the majority of tea to supermarkets and cafes – catering mainly in aromatic teas. Supermarket shelves are full of rows and rows of open tea caddies containing what was once black or green tea, heavily disguised by the many varieties of artificially scented fragrances. Alternatively, tea bags galore with their layers and layers of packaging can be found in every fruit flavor imaginable.

Having said that, one must not under estimate aromatic teas. Most Scandinavians have never tried any other type of tea and it brings people into my shop and once they are in, then they rarely leave without experiencing the taste of good Chinese loose leaf tea.

Most Scandinavians have experienced bitter teas, usually due to inferior quality and incorrect brewing. This makes them very skeptical about trying new and unfamiliar teas.

With the exception of a few Chinese restaurants, cafes, restaurants and even tea houses are reluctant to buy good quality tea in fear of not being able to brew it properly or not being able to sell it. Surprisingly renowned gourmet restaurants that ensure top quality coffee still purchase inferior teas.

The new generation of tea enthusiasts found in Scandinavia are not trendsetters nor are they guided by the media. They represent Scandinavians influential and will probably be responsible for introducing good quality tea to their friends, family, colleagues and classmates. This will not happen overnight but as a slow process over the series of the next years. It will take even longer than that for tea houses, cafés and restaurants to follow suit.

My objective is to accelerate the process by continually providing information in the form of tea tastings, classes and seminars where it is possible to experience high quality tea and learn how to make a good cuppa.

So far the response has been positive and over the next two months Simply Tea will be hosting a series of tea seminars for some of the largest and most influential work places in Denmark.