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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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