Margaret Thornby’s Tea & Tea Room Talk Magazine

Margaret Thornby’s credit crunch tea challenge

What’s all this about?

Margaret Thornby has always promoted the use of loose leaf tea. She believes:

Margaret recently conducted a test on the cost of loose leaf tea versus tea bags and the results may surprise you as well as encourage you to make the switch, especially given the credit crunch. To test the costs, the price of loose leaf tea and the same or similar tea in tea bags was made – one with a well know food store tea and one with a well known tea merchant. At both 250g of loose tea of good quality cost £1.79, whilst 50 tea bags cost the same. What did this mean for the number of pots and cups of tea to be made?

The 250g of loose tea made 36 medium sized pots of good strength tea, subsequently providing 144 mugs of tea. The tea bags made either 1 mug of tea per bag if used singly, or 25 pots of tea and 100 mugs of tea. How does this relate to costs?

The cost, for a household with 4 people drinking 4 cups a day of loose leaf tea is 0.01p per cup, or £58.40 for the whole year.

The cost, for a household with 4 people drinking 4 cups of tea a day made in a teapot with tea bags is 0.02p a cup, or £116.80 year. EXACTLY DOUBLE THE COST OF LOOSE TEA.

The cost, for a household of 4 people drinking 4 cups of tea a day made singly with tea bags is 0.036p per cup, or £197.28 a year. MORE THAN TRIPLE THE COST OF LOOSE TEA.

Even given that people using tea bags may buy in larger quantities and may get the tea at lower cost, loose leaf tea will still be cheaper. Solution: beat the credit crunch and buy loose leaf tea!

Are you ready to take the tea challenge?

Increasingly, we hear that more people are beginning to take up, or taking up anew, drinking loose leaf tea. This includes people of all ages. Margaret Thornby is asking individuals, cafés, tea rooms, restaurants and hotels to take up the tea challenge. She wants you to give it a go!

For individuals, you may have been thinking about trying out loose leaf teas and just not quite taken the plunge yet. Is this the push you need? Cafés, tea rooms, restaurants and hotels may have considered it or, perhaps, written it off by arguing that it is ‘too messy’ or ‘too time consuming’ or ‘too much trouble’. How about giving it a go? Today, there are many solutions to dealing with tea leaves, from the traditional tea strainer, to the more modern solutions like teapots with internal strainers, strainers that fit inside most pots, even ‘magic’ teapots. And, if you’re wondering where you will dispose of the tea leaves, how about composting them or using them on your garden plants? If you have any tips, let us know.

Tell Margaret what you are doing

Anyone from individuals trying this out at home to places that serve tea can take part. Margaret wants to know how you get on and will feature some of these on this website or in tea magazine. DON’T DELAY, be the first to start the challenge. Email Margaret Thornby care of (JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) and mark you email “tea challenge”.

You will find, on this website, all sorts of tea information to help you get going, from people selling teapots and strainers to good tea merchants.

Get going. Take Margaret Thornby’s credit crunch tea challenge now.

Posted on 06 May 2009. Comments (1)


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