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International Tea Day – May 21, 2023

International Tea Day is celebrated every year on May 21. On this day, tea lovers unite in celebration of their favorite beverage. International Tea Day also promotes ways to sustain the production and consumption of tea. On this day, we can also learn of the importance of tea in combating hunger and poverty. You might be surprised to know that tea is the most loved beverage for millions worldwide. Every second, people consume 25,000 cups of tea, meaning more than two billion cups of tea are consumed per day. If you want to celebrate in style, check out our guide to gifts for tea lovers.

History of International Tea Day

In 2005, tea-producing countries came together to celebrate International Tea Day. These countries were Sri Lanka, Nepal, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, and Uganda. In 2019, the Intergovernmental Group on Tea decided to celebrate International Tea Day on May 21. The U.N. said yes to the celebrations on December 21, 2019. The first official U.N. International Tea Day was celebrated on May 21, 2020.

Projections show that as the world population increases, so will the number of tea drinkers. Tea enjoys great popularity in India and China. These two countries alone account for 37% of the world’s total population, meaning a substantial number of tea lovers reside in India and China. According to legend, Emperor Shen Hung of China discovered tea when leaves from a tree blew into his pot of boiling water. He loved the hot liquid and humanity has not looked back ever since.

Besides drinking it for taste, there are quite a few health benefits of tea drinking. Tea contains antioxidants that reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, aid with weight loss, protect the bones, prevent tooth loss, boost the immune system, help battle cancer, soothe the digestive system, and relax the body. Habitual tea drinkers are also less likely to die prematurely. Habitual tea drinkers drink the beverage at least three times a week. Green tea seems to have more health benefits than black tea.

International Tea Day timeline

15th Century

The traditional tea-drinking ceremony in Japan (also known as ‘chado’) develops.

Tea in Europe

The Dutch and Portuguese introduce tea to England.

Tea in India

Commercial tea plantations start in Assam, India.

Tea Bags

The first tea bags are called “tea leaf holders,” and they are patented by Roberta Lawson and Mary Molaren.

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