Learn more about tea and coffee around the world.
• China, is known as the birthplace of tea. The legend is that in 2737 BC, Shen Nung, the second emperor of China, discovered tea when leaves blew into his pot of boiling water. China now has 1,431,300 hectares planted with tea and accounts for over 18% of world exports. Visit China and help our work by taking part in our Great Wall of China charity walk.
• Turkey is home to the world’s most avid tea drinkers. The average annual consumption is 6.96lb per capita.
• After water, tea is the world’s most consumed drink.
• Tea is the national drink of Afghanistan and Iran.
• Anna Maria Russell, 7th Duchess of Bedford, is said to have originated the idea of British afternoon tea in the early 1800s to help ward off hunger pangs between lunch and dinner.
• Kenya first started growing tea in 1903 and now exports over 349,000 tonnes per year (22% of world exports). Kenyan speciality tea is said to be ideal with beef and horseradish or ham sandwiches and rich chocolate cake.
• Japan is known for their production of high quality green tea.
• A number of countries hold special tea ceremonies including Japan, China, Korea and Russia.
• Brazil is the world’s largest producer and exporter of coffee. Over five million people are employed by the country’s coffee trade and it contributes 30% of the world’s total coffee supply.
• The Galla tribe in Ethiopia discovered coffee pre-1000 A.D. when they noticed that they got an energy boost after eating coffee berries that were ground up and mixed with animal fat.
• The world’s first coffee shop, Kiva Han, opened in 1475 in Constantinople (Istanbul).
• In Constantinople, coffee became so popular that a Turkish law was established to allow a woman to divorce her husband if he failed to provide her with her daily quota!
Host your own World Tea Party – here’s how!