History of Tea Consumption in the World

Healthy variants have led to a rise in tea consumption the world over. With distinct
flavours and different methods of preparations, tea has a unique history steeped in

Sanjiv Roy
Created by Sanjiv Roy Jul 28, 2020

History of Tea Consumption in the World

Tea consumption has grown in China, India, and other emerging economies. Higher
income levels and the popularity of specialty items such as herbal teas, fruit fusions, and flavoured gourmet teas are the prime reasons explaining the growth story apart from the anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and weight-loss benefits that have made the tea-drinkers switch to healthier variants such as green tea. Bulk tea suppliers are set to benefit from the projected rise in the global consumption of tea in the coming decade.  
Global tea consumption  
The total tea consumption of the world stood at thirty lakh tons in 2000. In 1990, it was twenty-five lakh tons. The pattern of growth in tea consumption has remained robust over the decades. India, China, Russia, England, and Japan are the major tea-drinking nations, with higher per capita consumption of tea. Morocco, Tanzania, Egypt, New Zealand, Australia, Turkey, Qatar, and some other Middle-eastern countries have a proven taste for the beverage. 
Origin of Tea Trade 
China began trading tea with Tibet, then with the Arabs, the Turks, and the Indian
nomadic tribes in the Himalayas by the 8th century AD. Using the ‘silk road’, tea was
sent to India. The spread to the western world was gradual, reaching European soil in the 16th century, and finally spreading to Britain in the 17th century. 

To end the Chinese monopoly on the cultivation of tea, the British introduced the plant to India as the soil was ideal for large-scale production. Since then, India remains one of the largest producers of tea in the world. 

As tea spread to various parts of the world, different variations with unique flavours
emerged. Tea boasts of a unique history strongly rooted in cultures – based on the method of preparation, flavour combinations, and the type of tea used.

Spurt in Tea production 
Bulk tea manufacturers have reasons to rejoice. The global output of green tea is
expected to increase by 7.5 percent annually to reach 3.6 million tonnes in 2027. The
production of green tea in China is expected to more than double from 1.5 million tonnes in 2017 to 3.3 million tonnes in 2027. Similarly, black tea is projected to rise by 2.2 percent annually over the next decade to reach 4.4 million tonnes in 2027, with major increases in output in China, Kenya, and Sri Lanka. 
Trendy drink for youth

Global demand for tea is also benefiting from a new clientele. Bulk teas suppliers have a wide segment of young, health-conscious, urban tea consumers generating greater demand for various tea variants. They are ready to pay a premium price for specialty teas and also curious to know more about the product they consume – its quality, origin, and contribution to sustainable development. Bulk tea manufacturers are set to cater to the young, upper-middle-class consumers who seek gourmet teas to be integrated into their lifestyles. Large tea-producing countries like China and India have emerged as the fastest-growing segment. 
Health benefits boost demand
World tea consumption has increased in the last decade. But traditional importing
European countries, except Germany, have seen a decline in consumption. In the next decade, reversal is possible with diversification into other segments such as organic and specialty teas, by promoting health and well-being benefits associated with drinking tea. The strategy of promoting health benefits to stir global demand has proved effective for other markets. Loose leaf tea witnesses new growth in the United States on account of increased awareness about health. The same story is repeated in almost every tea- drinking nation, triggering higher demand for the refreshing beverage.