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Who drinks tea?

Here are some interesting stats and info about wonderful tea, from Statista, a leading provider of market and consumer data.

Tea is the second most widely consumed drink around the world, coming in only after water. In 2020, the FAO estimated that some seven billion metric tons of tea were produced worldwide, with China, India, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia among the main tea producers in terms of volume.

According to the Statista Consumer Market Outlook, the global tea market size is expected to hit $266.7-billion by 2025.

The following chart uses data from Statista’s Consumer Insights to show the respective share of tea drinkers in selected countries.

Turkey had the highest rate of tea drinkers in 2022, with nine in ten people saying that they regularly drink the hot beverage. Kenya, a major producer and exporter of tea, also ranked highly in the 56 countries analyzed, with 83 percent of its respondents saying they regularly drink tea.

Meanwhile, the UK, famed as a nation that loves a cuppa, ranked slightly lower with 59 percent of people drinking it. While still high, this is some ten percentage points lower than neighbouring tea drinking country Ireland.

In the global comparison, Spain came closer to the bottom, with just over a third of people regularly drinking tea.

Although the United States is usually considered a coffee drinking nation, tea is also a growing market, with 114,660 tons imported in the US in 2021 alone, according to the International Trade Centre (ITC). Japan had the highest value of imports of all countries in 2021, at $94-million. This was followed by India with $71.7-million and Argentina with $61.4-million.

When looking at how much tea the US bought from different countries in terms of its weight, the numbers show a slightly different picture. Then, Argentina ranks first with 44,731 tons of its tea having been imported to the US in 2021. This is likely due to mate tea. Next comes China with 12,184 tons and India with 11,947 tons.

The world’s largest tea markets

As the following chart, based on data from Statista Consumer Market Insights, shows, China is not only the largest exporter, but also by far the largest market for tea in the world.

Including sales for in-home and out-of-home consumption valued at retail prices, the Chinese tea market is estimated at almost $100-billion, more than six times the size of second-ranked India with total sales of $15.7-billion.

Japan, the United States and Brazil round off the top five, with the latter likely included due to the popularity of mate in large parts of South America.

Source: Statista

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