Drinking tea is a delicious way to boost your health. This versatile drink has been offering numerous benefits to drinkers over the past 5,000 years. For example, tea statistics attest that drinking tea is a great way to socialize.
But there are plenty of other reasons why there are so many tea-lovers in the world.
So what makes tea the most popular drink in the world after water? Discover the answer through the latest stats and facts about tea. Add the secret ingredient of knowledge to your next cup of tea and enjoy it even more!
10 Essential Tea Statistics to Know in 2021
- Tea is the second most popular drink in the world.
- The Turks are world champions in tea drinking.
- Unilever is the world’s largest tea company.
- China holds 40% of the global tea market.
- Americans drank over 84 billion servings of tea in 2019.
- 48% of US tea consumers drink it at restaurants or other foodservice locations.
- Only 15%–20% of the tea drunk in US households is hot tea.
- The US is the second-largest importer of tea in the world.
- Wholesale tea now costs 50% more due to the pandemic.
- After COVID-19, the most popular tea will be herbal tea.
World Tea Consumption Statistics and Facts
1. Tea is the second most popular drink in the world.
(Statista, World Tea News)
People enjoy tea in all four corners of the world—after packaged water, it’s the most consumed beverage worldwide. Some nations have a real passion for tea, and others drink it occasionally.
Aside from tap water, the world’s non-alcoholic beverage consumption counts 396 billion gallons each year.
2. Tea drinking statistics show that 72 billion gallons were drunk in 2018 worldwide.
(Statista, World Tea News)
Estimates indicate that people drink about 25,000 cups of tea per second globally. In total, this accounts for approximately 2.16 billion cups of tea each day.
3. Black tea is the world’s favorite type of tea.
(Revolution Tea, NCBI)
Approximately 90% of the US’s tea is black tea. Tea statistics worldwide reveal the most popular types of tea:
- Black tea (fermented)
- Oolong (semi-fermented)
- Green tea (unfermented)
4. On average, people drink more tea than coffee.
(World Tea News)
Comparing tea drinkers vs. coffee drinkers, statistics from 2018 indicate that tea is more popular overall. Worldwide tea consumption per capita is 9.3 gallons. For comparison, each year, people drink on average 5.6 gallons of coffee per capita.
What’s more, tea-drinking estimations indicate an increase to 10 gallons per capita by 2021.
5. The Turks are world champions in tea drinking.
Stats from 2019 show that, on average, a Turk drinks 1,300 cups of tea per year, or 3.5 cups of tea each day. The average 3–5 cups of tea per day can turn to 10 during the winter. Tradition is cited as the main reason behind this.
6. Approximately 72% of UK households drink black tea, statistics in Britain confirm.
(World Tea News)
Despite the many different types of tea, black tea is still the most popular in the UK. However, some data points to a recent decline in black tea consumption among the UK’s population.
7. In 2019, Twinings’ herbal, fruit, and green tea variants counted 5.15 million British consumers.
Twinings was the leading tea brand in Britain for 2019. The same year, it overtook Unilever’s PG Tips as a top seller of black tea.
8. Australians don’t like flavored teas and blends.
(World Tea News)
Australian tea market statistics confirm this claim. More precisely, flavored teas are 30% less popular there than in other countries, including the US, China, and Singapore.
Australia’s leading tea choice remains English Breakfast. Traditionally, Australians drink black teas and Chinese, Assam, Sri Lankan teas, demonstrating a preference for a natural flavor over added blends.
9. The Thais drink the most bubble tea in Southeast Asia.
(The Asean Post)
Bubble tea consumption statistics show that Thais drink six bubble teas per month. Meanwhile, Philippinos drink five cups of this tea per month. Most other Southeastern Asian countries drink three cups monthly on average.
Bubble tea is a mix of milk, tea, and fruit juice with added bubbly-looking toppings (like tapioca balls).
10. Coffee contains three times more caffeine than tea, coffee and tea statistics confirm.
Studies show that black tea contains 40 mg of caffeine per cup. Coffee, on the other hand, has 120 mg per cup. Nevertheless, black tea can also make you caffeine-dependent.
Bear in mind, caffeine content varies based on the type of tea. This can even depend on factors like the soil and temperature.
Tea Industry Statistics
11. There are approximately 80 million tea farm workers in China.
(World Tea News, Xinhuanet)
If the tea industry were about to disappear, it would take down millions of workplaces and jobs worldwide, but China would be impacted most.
In 2019, there were 115 million people working in the tea industry in China. Chinese governmental data further reveals that a vast majority of these are farmworkers.
12. Unilever is the world’s biggest tea company, tea statistics confirm.
Unilever, the tea giant, owns Lipton and several smaller brands like PG Tips, Pure Leaf, T2, Tazo, and Pukka. Its selection revolves around several different varieties of tea.
In 2020, Unilever held an estimated 11.4% of the world’s tea market.
13. The global yearly production of tea is nearly 6 million metric tons.
Global tea production statistics from 2018 show the most significant jump in yearly volume so far. Tea production data counted some 5.8 million metric tons that period. Of this total, China accounted for about 2.62 million metric tons.
Data also show a gradual yearly increase in tea production since 2004. Meanwhile, the exported quantities have remained relatively constant over the past 15 years.
14. China holds 40% of the global tea market, international tea statistics reveal.
(Farrer’s Coffee, Statista, Teabox)
China is where tea originated. It was supposedly discovered around 2737 BCE and came into regular use in the third century CE. Surprisingly, China still holds the leading position in the global market as both the world’s largest tea producer and exporter.
15. India is the biggest producer of UTZ-certified tea.
Having a UTZ certification means particular rules and regulations were followed throughout the tea’s production process. Specific focus is given to the farming methods, work conditions, and efforts made to preserve nature.
In 2019, world tea statistics counted 122,750 metric tons of UTZ-certified tea. That year, there were 14 UTZ-certified tea-producing countries in the world. Among those, India was the leading producer with 57,970 metric tons of certified tea.
16. China gains the most tea market revenue.
China is the biggest exporter of tea worldwide. Hence, it also holds first place by market revenue. In fact, 2019’s tea industry statistics reveal that China earned nearly $86.3 billion for its tea and tea drinks. Brazil, India, and Japan held second, third, and fourth places, respectively.
The US’s tea market revenue for 2019 was almost $13 million, ranking fifth on this list.
17. Bubble tea’s market value in 2020 was $2.3 billion.
The global COVID-19 pandemic cut the wings of the bubble tea market. Up by a sluggish $150 million since 2019, it’s expected to grow to a value of $4.2 billion by 2027.
In 2019, black tea held 45% of the bubble tea market share.
Tea Statistics in America
18. As much as 48% of the US’s tea consumers drink it at restaurants and other foodservice locations.
Tea is present in nearly every American household, but that’s not where it’s usually consumed. Stats show that almost half of America’s tea lovers drink it outside the home. For instance, in Britain and Germany, only 13% and 6% of tea lovers, respectively, drink it in foodservice locations.
In the US, this fact boosts the iced tea statistics specifically. That said, during the lockdown, the consumption of ready-to-drink teas dropped by 11%.
19. In 2019, Americans drank over 84 billion servings of tea.
The US has a unique tea culture. Its beginnings weren’t so popular because of the association with the British. But now, the US tea industry has evolved and produced many tasty drinks.
According to the Tea Association of the USA, this number encompasses servings of any kind of tea. These include loose-leaf, bagged, bottled, hot, iced, and cold brew tea.
Even though the number seems big, the growth of the US tea market is, in fact, relatively flat.
20. Only 15%–20% of the tea drunk in US households is hot tea, statistics suggest.
Indeed, Americans differ in the way they drink tea from the rest of the world. Around 75%–80% of the tea consumed at home is iced tea. Research suggests that tea, in general, has failed to become a drink that people socialize over.
21. The US is the second-largest importer of tea in the world.
In 2019, the US imported $488.4 million worth of tea. Following Pakistan, with $496 million, it ranks second on the list of tea importers.
21. Black tea is the most popular type of tea in the US, tea consumption statistics show.
Data reveals that 65.8% of the tea consumed in the US is black tea. White and green tea were second in line by popularity (21.1%), followed by herbal tea (13.1%).
22. Revenue from tea and coffee production should reach $13 billion by 2024.
Revenues from coffee and tea sales are not continually climbing, as confirmed by yearly data following the U.S. tea market. Plus, data for 2021 predicts $12.66 billion in profits. Over the last nine years, revenue reached its record high in 2015 ($14.35 billion). This amount was a significant jump from the previous year’s $12.57 billion.
23. Americans still make tea with stove-top kettles.
There are plenty of different coffee machines, including fancy espresso machines. Tea machines, however, are not so popular in the US.
In fact, Americans seem to only recently have discovered the electric kettle, let alone tea brewing machines. With 6.3 million electric kettles sold in 2019, American tea culture may finally be taking off.
World Tea Statistics, Trends, and Forecasts
24. Wholesale tea costs 50% more due to the pandemic.
Unfortunately, tea statistics reveal an even bigger problem. It’s not just the wholesale price of tea that rose amid the pandemic—it was all tea prices. Individual consumers paid 1.7% more for tea bags in September 2020 than they did in March 2020. Plus, tea drinkers also pay 9.6% more for bottled tea than last year.
This is likely due to a combination of rising demand and disruption in the production and supply process.
25. Tea statistics in Britain show that supermarkets have sold significantly more tea and coffee due to COVID-19.
The Brits heavily relied on supermarkets to buy their tea in 2020—indeed, even after the reopening of bars, pubs, and restaurants. The Guardian notes a £24 million rise in sales for coffee and tea in July (approximately $33 million USD). Bear in mind, this stat doesn’t include the holidays’ spending frenzy.
26. In the case of CBD-infused coffee and ready-to-drink tea, statistics note a 3,609% increase in sales in 2019.
(Statista, PR Newswire)
Recently, cannabis-infused beverages have seen a boom in the non-alcoholic drinks market. Much like with CBD coffee, customers are looking for the health benefits derived from CBD-infused tea.
The CBD infusion market should reach $2.8 billion by 2025. In any case, there’s no doubt that CBD drinks are growing in popularity year-over-year. But for now, CBD-infused coffee is far more successful than CBD-infused tea.
27. Attesting to the rise in bubble tea popularity, statistics showed a 3,000% jump in orders for the Southeast Asia region in 2018.
(The Asean Post)
In 2018, a bubble tea craze exploded across Southeast Asia. GrabFood, a food delivery company, confirms this. As the company states, interest in this drink has increased tremendously. So much so that it couldn’t keep up with the demand.
28. As for tea consumption in India, statistics show consumption was down by 40 million kg a month due to the lockdown.
(World Tea News)
The coronavirus pandemic reduced India’s tea consumption, as well as its production. As a result, demand and production in the country remained aligned. By June 2020, India produced 113 million kg of tea less than it did over the same period in 2019.
29. In 2018, the world’s population drank an additional 1.06 million gallons of organic tea, stats show, compared to the previous year.
(Tea & Coffee)
There’s been an undeniable organic frenzy worldwide. It ranges from organic mattresses and clothes to food and drink. Thus, the global organic tea market is also rising. For now, regular bottled tea is the first choice for tea lovers. While organic tea is gaining in popularity, regular tea still accounts for around 80% of total consumption.
30. An average person will drink nearly 2 lbs of tea in a year, tea statistics for 2021 show.
Tea consumption, globally, is growing each year. In 2018, it reached approximately 72 billion gallons overall. By 2021, it’s projected that people will drink around 78 billion gallons of tea.
31. Since 2020, Americans have found a new primary reason to drink tea.
(Euromonitor International, Statista)
In 2020, tea consumption statistics marked a notable shift in customers’ tea preferences. Before the pandemic, 53% of Americans drank tea because they liked the taste.
However, the threat of COVID-19 has left people searching for the immunity boost and calming agents that tea offers. Furthermore, tea can sometimes enhance the effects of other aids that treat insomnia. Some of the best insomnia treatments include taking CBD or reducing blue light emissions from digital screens.
32. After COVID-19, the most popular tea will be herbal tea, statistics suggest.
During 2020, US sales of ready-to-drink teas dropped. Herbal tea, on the other hand, was more popular than ever. The explanation is simple: many people are turning to natural medicine.
What’s more, estimates suggest that this trend will continue well after the crisis. Boosted herbal tea sales testify to increased illness prevention practices.
Of course, while herbal tea may be seeing a boost, black tea remains the all-time favorite. General tea drinkers’ statistics, as well as bubble tea statistics, confirm it.
Drinking tea has served as a kind of bridge between different cultures for centuries. And in contrast to many other human traditions, it affects health in a positive way. The world we live in currently shines an attractive light on the benefits of drinking tea.
As a result, tea sales are going strong, and they will continue this trend in the following years. Despite the constant emergence of new drinks, tea’s popularity won’t stop rising. It evolves in new, increasingly delicious and aromatic forms in every corner of the world.
Which country consumes the most tea?
Turkey is the world’s largest tea consumer, and there’s a good reason behind it. Drinking tea is an inevitable part of socializing in traditional Turkish culture.
Stats from 2019 show that Turks drink three and a half cups of tea each day, on average, and up to 10 cups daily in the winter. In a year, an average Turk drinks around 1,300 cups of tea.
Other tea-loving countries are Ireland, the UK, and Iran.
(Food Navigator, World Atlas)
Why is tea the most popular drink in the world?
Tea has been around since forever. Hence, it has become part of the tradition in many cultures across the globe.
What’s more, tea is widely available everywhere and exists in a plethora of excellent flavors. Tea is also easily prepared and can be combined with other drinks or food.
The best part is that tea is very safe for consumption. In fact, its various health benefits are the strongest argument for tea’s popularity.
How is tea bad for you?
Drinking too much tea—drinking too much of anything—can be harmful to your body.
Tea contains caffeine, theobromine, and other compounds that stimulate the nervous system.
So you’ll risk:
- Sleep trouble
- Caffeine dependence
Plus, tea causes increased acid production in the stomach. So if you have a sensitive gut, you can experience:
- Stomach aches
And finally, tea compounds bind with iron and can cause iron-deficiency anemia.
What’s the most expensive tea?
So far, the Chinese Da-Hong Pao Tea is the most expensive in the world. One kilo of it costs a staggering $1.2 million. Da-Hong Pao tea comes from the Da-Hong Pao Mother Tree. Today, this tree is so rare that harvesting it isn’t allowed.
Famous for its healing powers, this tea is treated like royalty in China. The myth says that it once carried the imperial Big Red Robe during the Ming dynasty. Because of this, it is named precisely that: Big Red Robe (Da-Hong Pao).
(Business Today, Teabloom, Teasenz)
What is Bubble tea?
Nowadays, the world tea statistics point to bubble tea as one of the most popular tea-based drinks.
Bubble tea (boba tea) is a unique mix of tea, milk, and fruit juices with added toppings in the form of “bubbles.” In the classic version, the bubbles are tapioca pearls (boba). However, they can also be different kinds of jelly or other sugary treats.
This fun drink can be served with different ingredients. But one thing’s sure: if you want to make it at home, you’ll need a good juicer.
Recently, the popularity of boba tea has soared in several Western countries. Among those, this tea is most popular in Canada, the US, and Germany, tea statistics confirm.
- Allied Market Research
- Beverage Industry
- Business Today
- Euromonitor International
- Farrer’s Coffee
- Food Navigator
- Grand View Research
- Market Research Future
- PR Newswire
- Tea & Coffee
- The Asean Post
- The Guardian
- World Atlas
- World Tea News
- World Tea News
- World Tea News
- World Tea News