Facts About Tea

30 Eye-Opening Facts About Tea You Didn’t Know About

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Updated on January 12, 2024

Reviewed by Dina Essawy

Who does not like tea, the second-most consumed beverage after water? Almost no one, right? Tea plays a significant role in our lives and daily routines, and there are tons of facts about tea!

You sip it paired with different foods; you sip it while having conversations, working, or even binge-watching your favourite shows. Everyone probably has their own ritual when it comes to tea and has their own personal favourite. Although it is something we consume daily, there is a lot we don’t know about tea. Join us in exploring some tea facts!

Put the kettle on, as we are going to share some tea facts you probably knew nothing about! 

Fact #1: Tea Is a Pure Accident 

Tea was discovered by pure accident. A long time ago, according to a legend, a Chinese emperor was sitting underneath a tree while his servant was boiling water. A leaf blew from a tree and fell into the water. He decided to give the infusion a try, which was made by pure accident. 

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Fact #2: Camellia Sinensis the Tree of Tea

Tea gets extracted from a plant called Camellia sinensis, a member of the flowering plant family Theaceae. The evergreen shrub or small tree known as Camellia sinensis is the species from which tea is derived. Tea comes from its leaves and leaf buds. These leaves are processed in different ways to create different types of tea. Black tea is made from old and large leaves, while green tea is from small and young leaves. On the other hand, white tea from white buds. Camellia sinensis is originally native to East Asia, the Indian Subcontinent, and Southeast Asia. Nowadays, it is cultivated worldwide in tropical regions. 

Fact #3: More Than 50 Countries Grow Tea

Although tea nowadays grows in more than 50 countries, Asia and Africa are where it grows mainly. It is also grown in the Black and Caspian Seas and South America. Representing 75% of the world’s tea production are the four biggest tea-producing countries: China, India, Kenya, and Sri Lanka; where China has the biggest share and has the oldest tree, which is 3,200 years old. 

Fact #4: It Takes 2,000 Tea Leaves to Make a Pound of Tea

Guess how many tea leaves are needed to make a pound of tea. It takes around 2,000 tiny leaves to make those 1.76 litres, making almost 200 cups of brewed tea. Knowing that tea comes second after water, there are more than three billion cups of tea consumed daily around the world.

Fact #5: There Are More Than 3,000 Types of Tea

You’d probably think there are only a few types of tea, but there are more than 3,000 types. The most popular types are black, green, white, and oolong Tea. 

Fact #6: Mint Is Not A Tea Type

You’d tell us right now, Hey and Mint! But another fact is that mint is not a tea type but a herbal infusion. Herbal infusions are often confused for tea, but they are packaged like tea but do not contain any tea leaves. Lemon, ginger, cinnamon, chamomile, and peppermint are herbal infusions; we only call them teas because they are still a big, warm cup of goodness.

Fact #7: Matcha Is Actually Tencha 

Not too long ago, we heard everywhere about matcha. The tea leaves used to make the matcha are a type of green tea called tencha. The tencha is not consumed in its original form but is ground into a fine powder to create matcha. The name “matcha” comes from Japanese words: “Ma” means “ground,” while “cha” means tea. 

Fact #8: Are You a Miffy or a Tiffy? How You Put Milk in Your Tea Is a Lifetime Debate

Whether you add milk after or before the tea has been a lifetime debate; they even named it. If you like to add the milk first, then you are a “miffy,” but if you like to pour the tea first, the milk, then you are a “Tiffy.” Which one are you?

Fact #9: Black Tea vs Green Tea

The two most famous types of tea are black and green. Although they’re produced from the same plant and share many properties and benefits, they also have differences. Black tea tends to be rich and brewed to reddish colour with a strong flavour, while green tea tends to be more delicate and brewed to a pale golden colour or light green. 

Fact #10: Green Tea Has Less Caffeine Than Tea, But How Less?

We knew that black tea has more caffeine than green tea, but we didn’t know that an average cup of black tea has average 40–70 mg of caffeine, while green tea has only 15–50 mg. Both of them have health benefits, but green tea is a healthier option of the two due to its higher antioxidant content. 

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Fact #11: Tea Is Good for the Teeth

Believe it or not, a cup of tea can keep the dentist away. Tea is beneficial for your teeth because it contains fluoride. A cup can contain between 0.3 and 0.5 milligrammes of fluoride, and if you have your tea with milk, you can benefit from the calcium the milk contains.

Fact #12: The Largest Cup of Tea Was 9,123 Litres

Another crazy fact is that Mexico entered the Guinness World Record in 2023 by making the largest hot cup of tea, which contains 9,123 litres. Also, in 2018, the Global Village Dubai entered the Guinness World Record for the biggest cup of tea, but it was only 5,000 litres, 3.66 metres high, and 1.42 metres in diameter. 

Fact #13: Turkey Consume Tea More Than Any Other Country

Turkey is the biggest country in terms of consuming tea. Every nine to ten people drink tea daily. They are really big on their tea; you’d find it everywhere you go, and they pair it with almost everything they eat and with every occasion they have, from weddings to funerals. Tea in Turkey is associated with hospitality, and they like to serve it in beautifully tulip-shaped glasses.

Fact #14: It Matters How You Store Your Tea

Did you know that every type has different conditions for storage and shelf life? Also, it is not advised to store different tea types together. The general rules are to keep them protected from air, heat, light, and moisture, which means storing them in a dark, cool place in an airtight container.

Breaking down each type and how to store it, you can store black tea in a closed and dry container, preferably an opaque canister, and that way, store it for up to two years. On the other hand, green tea’s shelf life is not as long as black tea, with a maximum of maybe a year. Do not opt for plastic containers, as they can transfer odours and chemicals into the tea, which might affect its flavour. 

Fact #15: Tea Is the Unofficial Drink of Afghanistan

The top tea drinkers in the world are Afghans; they are the top importers of tea as well. Based on how much they consume tea, it has become unofficially the national beverage of the country. They consider it a big part of their culture and strongly linked with their hospitality; they even serve it on almost every occasion. 

Fact#16: Tea Is for More Than Just Sipping

Long ago, tea was used for medical purposes before they discovered it was also for drinking. 

There are a lot of uses for tea other than being consumed; some of these uses can be for beauty purposes, for example, bathing in it for a hydrating bath. Health usage can be for increasing your metabolism or treating acne. Moreover, you can use it for home purposes, such as breaking down the grease in stubborn burnt spots in a pan, and tea leaves are also used as a mosquito repellent. 

Fact #17: Just Like Tea, Iced Tea Was Also an Accident! 

During one summer in 1904, an Englishman was serving hot tea on an even hotter day during an event, but no one wanted hot tea, so he got the idea of adding free ice to the mix, and voila, he discovered iced tea.

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Fact #18: Afternoon Tea Must Be with a Change of Clothes!

In the 1880s, it became a must for ladies to change their clothing and wear long gowns, gloves, and hats before they started their afternoon tea. Afternoon tea should be served between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m., while high tea should be between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Fact #19: Black Tea Is Actually Good for Your Health

Besides having less caffeine than coffee, black tea contains antioxidant properties, which can reduce the risk of chronic disease and may improve your heart health. In addition to reducing stroke risk, reducing blood pressure may lower sugar levels and help reduce the risk of cancer. 

Fact #20: The World’s Most Expensive Tea Can Cost Thousands of Dollars! 

Da Hong Pao is a rare and expensive type of oolong tea that can reach a million dollars per kilogramme. It grows in small quantities and is harvested twice a year. What makes it really special is having a unique flavour and aroma; not only that, but it has some health benefits, including lowering cholesterol levels and blood sugar and improving digestion. The luxurious tea, for its rarity, was declared a national treasure. 

Fact #21: Bubble Tea Is Already Known Since The 1980s

Although bubble tea only became known in the last few years in most countries, it was made in the 1980s. It originated in Taiwan and has many flavours nowadays, like pizza and doughnuts. In case you are wondering, bubble tea, aka Boba tea, is a Taiwanese recipe made of a unique blend of tea, milk, water, sugar, and tapioca pearls. 

Fact #22: The Most Valuable Teapot Is Worth Three Million Dollars

According to Guinness World Records, a worth $3 million valuable teapot was created by a UK charity and was recognised as the most valuable teapot. The pot has a handle covered with moulded mammoth ivory and a body with a base of 18K yellow gold with parts of gold-plated silver. Not only that, but the gold is embedded with 1,658 diamonds and 386 rubies. The designer made this pot as a tribute to the world’s finest teas.

Fact #23: It Takes 12 Years for The Tea Plant to Produce a Seed

A tea plant takes twelve years to mature enough to produce a seed and another three years before the tree is harvested. 

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Fact #24: No “Caffeine Crash” With Tea

Tea is full of antioxidants that help decrease the absorption of caffeine, making tea less likely to cause a “caffeine crash.” Resulting in a gradual increase of caffeine in the body; therefore, our alertness period becomes longer and with no crash at the end.  

Fact #25: Believe It or Not, There Is an Art for Reading Tea Leaves

Tasseography is reading tea leaves. The name has French and Greek roots; Tasse means “cup” in French, and “graph” means “writing” in Greek. Tasseography involves interpreting patterns that were formed by loose tea leaves in a teacup.

Fact #26: Ever Wondered Why Tea Just Tasted Different on Aeroplanes? 

There are several reasons why tea might taste different while you are on a plane. One reason is that when you are at higher altitudes, the water boiling point is 18–20 degrees lower due to air pressure. Moreover, taste buds don’t work as well when you are at an incredibly high altitude, and the dry air and cabin pressure help dull our senses of taste and smell. 

Fact #27: One of the Most Expensive Teas Has Panda Poop! 

Can you spare a few thousand dollars for a tea that has panda poop? In China, they have a teal called Panda Dung Tea, and it is one of the most expensive teas in the world. This particular tea uses Panda Bear’s poop as fertiliser. It is sold at around $70,000 per kilogramme as it is believed to be rich in antioxidants. 

Fact #28: A Tea Pet Is a Thing 

A tea pet is a clay figure that you place on the table, and it joins you for tea. During tea time, you pour some tea over the tea pet, and over time, the figurine absorbs some of the tea, changing its colour and building a tea scent. Some tea drinkers keep them for good luck. 

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Fact #29: Tea is important in Chinese Weddings 

During wedding ceremonies in China, as part of their traditions and as a sign of gratitude, the groom and bride kneel before their parents in respect and serve them tea. This act symbolises that both families become one and emphasises respect and honour. This act expresses their appreciation for the lifetime love, support, and guidance they received throughout their lives from their parents.

Fact #30: Alcohol in Movies Is, In Reality, Iced Tea

When actors are needed in any film or TV scene to drink whisky or portray being drunk, what they are consuming is iced tea or watered-down tea. 

The Facts About Tea Are Endless!

Tea has a rich and long history, is widely used, and is a loved beverage. It is associated with a lot of beliefs and traditions and plays a role in cultures, and has a lot of benefits and uses. It doesn’t matter how you take it—hot, cold, with spices, or milk—it continues to captivate us worldwide.

Never underestimate the power of tea! How many facts were you aware of? 

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