The Italian Almanac

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tea time

Italian News - June 9

The traditional Italian passion for espressos and cappuccinos is being eroded as a fashion for British-style tea-drinking creeps across the nation. These days the average Italian has a cup of tea four times a week and sales of green tea in particular are booming, according to research carried out by London-based tea company Twinings.

Last year the nation consumed 1.5 billion teabags, taking total sales to 93 million euros. Tea was hardly drunk in Italy until the late nineteenth century and for many years, mostly because of the high cost, it was a pleasure enjoyed only by the aristocracy.

Today Italians drink it mostly in the home but over a third of the population say they also order it when out. It is seen as being a healthier drink than coffee.