Tea Delights Northwest Arkansas Employees

Tea Delights Northwest Arkansas Employees

Tea in Northwest Arkansas

The word tea often conjures up many different images—hot, iced, loose, bagged, black, green, oolong, and the list goes on. It’s not surprising then that tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water. In the U.S., 80 percent of households have some variety in their pantry. In people terms, that means 4 out of 5 consumers drink it.

With so many different types of the hot beverage available in Northwest Arkansas, it can feel overwhelming when trying to choose one. Let’s take a step back and start at the beginning.

Types of Tea

Tea starts as a single plant, the Camellia sinensis. The final product changes based on how the leaves are grown, plucked, and dried or oxidized. The five main types are black, white, green, oolong, and puerh (or dark).

Black tea is the most consumed type in the world. In the United States, over 80 percent of the tea consumed is black. The key for black tea is to make sure that the leaves are fully fermented or oxidized.

Green tea is known for its health benefits, including stress reduction and improved memory, attention, and brain function. To prepare the leaves, they are heated right after being plucked to prevent oxidation.

Oolong tea is made by only partially fermenting the leaves. Once the plucked leaves have withered, they are fermented before the drying process begins.

White tea is one of the most unique types. It can only be produced by following strict harvesting and processing guidelines, which were developed in the Fujian Province in China. A simplified description of the process includes delicately hand-picking the leaves and steaming and drying them.

Puerh or “dark” tea is also unique because it is aged for decades before it is drunk. By storing it for so many years, the leaves undergo fermentation. The result is a very different beverage.

Tea in Northwest Arkansas

In the Break Room

Why is this leaf steeped beverage so popular? Although no one knows for sure, popular opinion suggests that a growing awareness about making healthy choices is a contributing factor. So how does this information affect your Northwest Arkansas break room beverage program? There are two things to consider.

    • Although coffee is a vital part of the workday, there is a large percentage of the workforce who prefers tea. If premium options aren’t available, that percentage will go off-site for their favorite beverage.
    • Because about 80 percent of tea consumed in the U.S. is iced, it’s important to make sure that your cold beverage program (i.e., vending machines, pantry service, or micro-market) contains canned or bottled ready-to-drink (RTD) teas in both unsweetened black and green options. Cold-brew tea is another choice to consider, as it offers mellower and sweeter flavors.

Including both hot and cold teas in your Northwest Arkansas break room beverage program helps reach a larger percentage of your employees and contributes to overall employee wellness. Whether your organization is redoing the break room or is looking to update your hot and cold beverage menu, we can help. Call Northwest Arkansas Vending at 479-271-8288 to learn more.