You like coffee? Yeah, I used to like coffee. I'm kind of over that now. I've evolved past that. I've advanced into tea. Tea is kind of the new "thing," for me and my 300 million closest friends, the citizens of the United States of America.

The good thing about this, obviously, is that maybe at some point in our natural lives we'll get to stop hearing about everyone's personal preferred variety of coffee bean and method for making coffee. The downside is that instead we'll be hearing about their preferred fucking tea. Which is, if anything, even worse than coffee, because it lacks the utilitarian element of hypercaffeination that enables coffee to maintain its populist appeal even as it is assailed by cultural snobbery.

The fact is, though, tea is pretty god damn popular these days, as Maureen Morrisson reports:

Among specialty retailers like Starbucks, servings of hot tea rose 18% for the year ended February 2013, compared with a year earlier... In supermarkets, ready-to-drink tea has been booming for some time; during the past six years, it has grown 58%... 7.7% of tea flavors were named sweet tea last year, up from 3.6% in 2010.

Add that all up, and you get... tea. People like tea for some reason. What is it about tea that has suddenly grabbed America's imagination? Who knows, perhaps it's the flavoring that it adds to the taste of plain water. Or the smell. "We now intend to do for tea what we have done for coffee,” says the CEO of Starbucks. Well, that's just great. Blah blah blah tea. Craft beer, coffee, tea, a few decades down the road it'll be something else that everybody has to be seen drinking. True Blood or whatever. It's flavored water, people, deal with it, no need to make a huge production.

Tea is composed of atoms— just like you and me.

[Ad Age. Photo: ienjoysushi/ Flickr]