Is Chicago putting down its cup of Joe for a nice spot of tea? Coffee may continue to reign as the beverage of choice here, but tea’s popularity is definitely brewing, say Chicago-area tea experts. ¶ Bill Todd of River Forest’s Todd & Holland tea merchants, which has been selling fine teas for 20 years, said he’s certainly noticing an increased number of new customers entering his store.
But the idea of Chicago become a tea-dominant town? Not anytime soon, he said.
“Chicago is more about coffee — and beer,” Todd said.
His business does a significant amount of online business, and by his assessment, Chicago has some catching up to do before it becomes as much of a tea-drinking area as many parts of the East Coast, West Coast, and even fellow Midwestern city, Minneapolis.
Chicagoans, like those in the rest of America, are waking up to the potential health benefits of tea, which is rich in antioxidants. Studies have also shown that tea can help encourage weight loss, lower cholesterol and improve mental alertness.