5 Fun Facts about US Tea Consumption

Most tea in the US is consumed as iced tea.

Ice cubes, an American Invention, play a starring role in the consumption of tea in this country.

Much is said about US being a coffee drinking country, but US tea consumption is pretty impressive by itself. Here are some facts about how Americans consume their tea.

  1. 85% of all tea is consumed iced in the United States. For those of us that know that ice in beverages is a US invention, this is not a shocker. You can read a little about the history of ice cubes in our blog post about Making Tea Ice Cubes, and if that does not convince you that Americans love iced tea there is our blog on the History of Iced Tea. We have been consuming this beverage for almost as long as our country has been around.
  2. On any given day there are around 158 million cupsĀ of tea being drunk in the US. I smile at this one as I know a lot of tea drinkers, myself included, that will consume around 4-6 cups a day. So it is probably more fair to say there are around 50 million die hard tea drinkers in this country. To put the 158 million cups in perspective, China consumes 1.5 billion cups of tea a day. Granted, China has a population of around 1.3 billion and the US has population around 316 million, so it isn’t a completely fair comparison. However, it does show there is plenty of room from growth in tea consumption in the US.
  3. In 2015, 285 million pounds of tea was imported into the United States, making the US the third largest importer of tea on the planet. In case you are curious, Russia and Pakistan where number 1 and 2 respectively.
  4. Black tea is still the most consumed type of tea in the US at about 85%, followed by Green tea at 14% and other teas accounting for the remaining 1%. This statistics excludes tisanes.
  5. 69% of tea consumed in the US is from a tea bag. This one makes me cringe. The good news is that this is decreasing as Americans learn about loose leaf tea and how much better it tastes than a tea bag. So I raise my cup to all of you who help to educate your friends on why they should abandon those tea bags for the good stuff.

Many thanks to the Tea Association of the United States for these interesting tidbits on the state of tea consumption in the US.

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