The world’s 20 biggest tea drinkers

Tea, once a drink of Chinese kings, has spread over time through most countries around the world, being one of the most consumed beverages. Like coffee, tea is consumed in huge quantities by people around the world. 

When it comes to the world’s most consumed drink, after the water, each region has its own set of traditions. Different flavors, stories and even rituals. But a certain thing is common to this drink all over the world: it is the symbol of friendship and hospitality.

Turkish tea

I know it’s hard to believe, but in Turkey, tea is more drunk than the famous Turkish coffee. In fact, Turkey is the country with the highest tea consumption per capita in the world: 3.15 kg / person / year! To offer a glass of hot tea is part of the Turkish hospitality abc, and the older person is always the first to serve. Turkey also has black tea plantations. Drinks at any time and in any context is served in pear-shaped glasses.

Irish tea

The Irish tea culture dates back to the 1800s. Considered by many, it is necessary to keep tempers pleasant in a country that is cold and rain for most of the year. Imported from English merchants, Irish tea was generally of cheaper quality so they added milk, sometimes as much as 1/3 of the cup, to cover up the taste. This, of course, meant that Irish tea had to be brewed stronger than its English counterpart

British tea

Kicking off our top three is the UK. You might have thought Britain would be further up the list, considering English tea is one of the most well known of all and ‘tea time’ is seen as quintessentially British. Britons drink tea throughout the day, with breakfast tea being one of the more popular options. British brands like Earl Grey are internationally renowned for their breakfast blends. Tea in the UK is generally taken black, sometimes with lemon, and served with milk and/or sugar. It was first introduced to the country as an upper class drink in the 18th century when the British Empire was at its peak. Today, it is a widely consumed beverage across all classes and generations. Cream tea and afternoon tea retain some of that imperial elitism in tea shops across the country – but thankfully everyone in England can indulge in a ‘cuppa’ nowadays., and custom which still endures.

Most of the tea consumed in UK is served hot. Like many places, it is a social convention to offer a guest a cup of tea and it is often considered impolite to refuse. Then again, who could refuse a piping hot cup of tea?

The world’s 20 biggest tea drinkers

  1. Turkey – 6.961 lbs per capita per year
  2. Ireland – 4.831
  3. United Kingdom – 4.281
  4. Russia – 3.051
  5. Morocco – 2.682
  6. New Zealand – 2.629
  7. Egypt – 2.231
  8. Poland – 2.204
  9. Japan – 2.133
  10. Saudi Arabia – 1.983
  11. South Africa – 1.789
  12. Netherlands – 1.714
  13. Australia – 1.649
  14. Chile – 1.613
  15. United Arab Emirates – 1.589
  16. Germany – 1.524
  17. Hong Kong – 1.428
  18. Ukraine – 1.284
  19. China – 1.248
  20. Canada – 1.121


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