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What Countries Drink The Most Tea

Updated on November 4, 2007
Now that's a big cup of tea
Now that's a big cup of tea

Tea is often thought to be the second most popular drink in the world (the first being water). So, who's drinking it all? Curious, I set off to find out. Besides, I got the title approved by Hub Pages, so I was committed to finding the answer out.

Criteria, Smiteria

And promptly discovered that "What country drinks the most tea?" is darn hard to answer. First off, what are the criteria of "most"? It obviously can't be based on the country's population - that gives China, Russia and the USA at a distinct advantage. And it also can't really be what country buys the most tea, because of the fickleness of economics. So, hopefully, I will have discovered how many cups of tea a day the average national citizen tosses back.

And then again, what do I mean by "tea"? For the purposes of this article, I'm limiting tea to any teas from the tea bush. Therefore, I'm probably missing out on the herbal and yerba mate market altogether.

Twists And Turns

This writer raises her hands to say that she cannot find the definitive answer to the question. Check one hundred sources for the information and you'll come up with one hundred different answers. But some nations kept on popping up time and time again. The most Top Three Tea Drinking Nations seem to be:

Another way of checking was to see how much caffeine was consumed from tea per nation. Now that got an answer, from a 1995 report:

  1. Ireland (127 mg of caffeine from tea per day!)
  2. Kuwait (112 mg)
  3. United Kingdom (96 mg)

The only other way to determine who drinks the most tea is how many kilograms of tea is consumed per person per year. That found a newer study from 2002

  1. United Kingdom (2.3 kg)
  2. Ireland (1.5 kg)
  3. New Zealand (1 kg)

In Conclusion

Finding the Holy Grail would've been easier than taking on this assignment. What with various wars, economic shifts and just what constitutes "tea", each study seems to shift on an entirely different aspect of tea.

But the clear winner does seem to be Turkey, followed very closely by the United Kingdom. And, somehow, I wasn't even in the top 10.

There was an expression in China for inconsistent, materialistic people - "He has no tea in him." Somehow, the Turks are usually comparatively relaxed considering their huge caffeine consumption.

Now, whenever you run out of tea, you'll know who to blame.

Tea Time for one gentleman in Turkey


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  • Moon Daisy profile image

    Moon Daisy 8 years ago from London

    A great hub, and much kudos for your research! I'm sure I'm partly responsible for the UK being in the top three. But I would probably not be allowed to live in Turkey, as I could never manage 20 cups per day, wow!!!

    I love the Chinese expression. Tea lovers have their feet on the ground.

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    Mikey 7 years ago

    When I went to Turkey I noticed that what I thought of as a pretty important part of British culture was a kind of sad imitation of what the Turkish did quite seriously. But I think it's unfair to compare cups per day or caffeine consumption because their cups are smaller than ours and their tea is a higher quality. What is fair to say is that the Turks have a nationally accepted hand gesture (pinching the thumb and forefinger together and twirling in the manner of someone stirring their tea) which means "come over and have a cup of tea", and they use it on total strangers a lot.

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    cazort 7 years ago

    I appreciate the way you cite the sources of your data rather than just throwing around statistical assertions.

    Thanks! This is interesting.

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    Green Tea Weight Loss 7 years ago

    Great hubs.

    Thanks friends for telling me which country drink the most tea.Kudos to you :D

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    turkish 6 years ago

    yes .. im lovin it :)

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    turkish 6 years ago

    yes .. im lovin it :)

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    Calvin 6 years ago

    That's very surprising, who would have guessed that Ireland consumes so much tea.

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    tea father? 6 years ago

    not surprised ireland drinks so mutch tea :L

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    Kat 6 years ago

    The most tea drank per person, Is in Atlantic Canada... Thanks

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    Top 10 Lists 6 years ago

    One of the best article i have seen so far as related to tea.First of all i would like to thank you for such a nice information about tea. You have not only cleared the misconceptions of people but also cleared the historic view of tea as well. As i am writing and article on Top 10 Tea producing countries of the world and your article gave me very clear view and very creative ideas to write on.Thanks once again and keep up the good work. Your writing style is awesome :)

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    jamie dunbar 5 years ago

    i think UK won because it was in all 3

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    Rush 5 years ago

    I thought it might've been Ireland because all the Irish family and friends I had drunk copious amounts of tea.

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    William Burke 4 years ago

    I see no mention of Tibet. Ah, but not a country, according to the Chinese. Tibetan nomads drink Tibetan Tea (cheap black tea from China, mostly, with rancid yak butter, and a pinch of salt), from first rising to right before bed. That's GOTTA place them in 20-cuppa range.

    I know it sounds horrifying - rancid butter with salt, but think of it as you would bullion. The butterfat is sustaining on the Tibetan plateau, with the plateau starting above 12,ooo feet! COLD!!

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