Tea Around the World A Glimpse into 5 Tea Cultures

Posted: 05/28/2014

You know what your favorite tea is and how you like to prepare it: Maybe you love to start your day with one of our premium breakfast teas and end it with a soothing chamomile or decaf tea, or perhaps you look forward to the serenity of your mid-day green tea ritual. As dedicated tea lovers, we know that tea makes life better, and each time we savor a cup we align ourselves with the billions of tea drinkers who have enjoyed their own tea rituals for centuries.

After water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world. While there are plenty of standout rare teas to explore, we decided to round up a list of the world’s most popular teas and customs by geographical region to show you how your favorites stack up against those of your domestic and global neighbors:

1. United States – Roughly 85% of Americans reach for black tea. The remaining 15% of our consumption is green tea, with a tiny fraction of us choosing more exotic varieties such as oolong tea or white tea. Here in the U.S., 80% of our overall tea consumption is iced teaSweet tea is treasured in the American South, for good reason – it is like sipping on sweet sunshine!

2. The United Kingdom – We all know that England loves tea, and the numbers support this: the British drink 165 million cups daily! According to the United Kingdom Tea Council, 98% of UK residents take their tea with milk, while only 30% add sweetener.  98% of Brits opt for tea bags over loose leaf tea.

3. China – Green tea is the most popular tea consumed in China. Tea is such a part of Chinese tradition and culture that it has significant social meaning. For instance, young people serve tea to their elders as a sign of respect, and serving tea is a way to offer an apology to someone you have wronged. You can expect to find tea implements on display at almost every home in China – they are signs of welcome.

4. India – Assam tea and Darjeeling tea are famously cultivated and consumed in India, as is the deservedly popular spiced darling known as Chai tea. Much like China, India’s history and culture is rich with tea, infusing it with social significance. Not only is tea drinking customary in social settings, but it also plays a crucial role in a holistic approach to medicine called Ayurveda.

5. Africa – Famous for its rooibos tea (also known as “African redbush tea”), Africa is a continent rich with tea traditions. South African Rooibos is a red-hued herbal tea that contains beneficial polyphenols and flavonoids, and it has a naturally sweet taste. Try our African Rooibos Tea Assortment to experience the sweet deliciousness for yourself.

We hope you have enjoyed our quick glimpse into five different tea cultures. The next time you steep a pot of tea, we hope you will take a moment to think of the millions of people around the world who are also enjoying tea at that same time – it really does unite us in a delightful way!

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