Oh, the comforting embrace of a warm cup of tea! This humble beverage is so simple yet so diverse, so soft yet so powerful, with endless blends and endless benefits.
Tea is the most-consumed drink in the world after water. And it makes sense as to why – tea is all around pure goodness. Not only can you drink it at any time of the day, it’s also anti-inflammatory, full of antioxidants, it helps clear the mind and its industry supports the livelihoods of millions around the globe! Who knew those little leaves could pack that much punch?
Not only is it the most consumed beverage, it’s also the oldest beverage in the world, dating back to at least 5,000 years ago. Since then, we’ve evolved tea to cater to everyone’s tastes. Whether you want green tea or black, iced tea or bubble tea, with milk or with lemon, there’s no doubt tea has made its way into the hearts of many as an everyday pick me up, a nightcap, as part of a ritual or part of socialising. Its diversity has allowed it to last generations and the hype doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon! Why wouldn’t we want to celebrate it?
International Tea Day comes around every 21 May to recognise the much-loved drink that has connected people around the world for millennia. But what exactly is International Tea Day and why do we need a day dedicated to tea?
Why International Tea Day exists
We all know tea is good for our bodies and minds, but its cultural and economic benefits also run deep. Not only does tea play a significant role in many cultures all around the world, but its industry also supports the livelihoods of over people, with over 35 countries cultivating this delicious plant. While these farmers have shown resistance to ongoing obstacles like climate change, safety, land occupation and low wages, they still need our support through sharing information and awareness.
That’s where International Tea Day comes in! It is here to shine a light on the benefits tea has on the economy and culture, all while advocating for more sustainable production and consumption of tea, so that we can keep those teapots pouring for many years to come. It’s also just a day to say thank you to tea makers everywhere and to tea for being oh-so-delicious and a great gift to humanity!
How to celebrate International Tea Day
You should definitely use this day as an excuse to unleash some of that creativi-TEA! You can:
- experiment with tea: go stir-crazy by trying different blends, aromas and preparation methods
- learn about your tea sources: take some time to learn about where and how your favourite tea is sourced. This day is all about advocating for sustainable production, so if it doesn’t look good to you, you can simply research and switch to other tea brands!
- throw a tea party
- tune in to events: many organisations like the Intergovernmental Group on Tea will have seminars, presentations and public campaigns for you to check out.
Fun facts about tea
Tea may seem quite simple at first glance, but there’s a whole lot that goes into making tea and using tea. Here are some fun facts about tea you might find surprising:
- The UK alone drinks around 100 million cups of tea each day
- The most expensive tea in the world will set you back $1.7 million per kilogram. It’s called ‘The Big Red Robe’ in China
- While there are thousands of varieties of tea around the world, the actual plant they all come from, the Camellia sinensis, has only six varieties
- Turkey drinks the most tea in the world, not China nor the UK (surprising, we know!)
- China has a rich tea heritage, but the most popular tea over there right now is bubble tea!
- Drinking black tea every day lowers your chances of having a heart attack by 44%.
It’s pretty amazing how some simple tea leaves are behind the universal experience that is tea drinking, connecting diverse cultures and countries all around the globe. The possibilities for tea are endless and it shouldn’t be taken for granted! So, get your teacups ready for 21 May so we can celebrate the sweet-scented goodness that is tea.