Barista-style tea machine

Launched in Japan earlier this year, Sharp’s Healsio Ocha Presso offers a new way to prepare tea.

The machine’s slow grinding mechanism boosts health benefits, as it prevents the loss of fibre and catechin antioxidants from tea leaves.

Tea’s popularity suffers among younger consumers, with some seeing it as a boring and old-fashioned drink. Retailing at over $200, Sharp’s machine would be an expensive way to target the casual consumer. However, it does provide an innovative example of how tea can be positioned as an exciting alternative to coffee.

High confidence in tea’s ability to improve health means that consumers will be more trusting of the health claims of functional drinks that use tea as a base than they might be of other offerings. Combined with the growing global interest in the medical benefits of products from the East, the market for tea is likely to grow in the future. This is especially true for brands that can recapture the interest of younger consumers.

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