No matter what kind of tea you like, iced or hot, these tea facts are for you! Some are downright unbelievable, but they really are true!
Below you’ll learn answers to questions like “what is the most expensive tea?”, “is herbal tea really tea?”, and more. Let’s get started!
At Always the Holidays, we love sharing informative posts with you. Make sure you let us know in the comments which of these facts about tea is your favorite!
Are you an avid tea drinker looking to learn a little more about this delicious beverage? You’re in luck, we’ve compiled some of the most interesting tea trivia below.
- Black tea, green tea, white and oolong tea are made from the same plant, Camellia sinensis. The difference between teas comes from how the leaves are oxidized, not which plant they come from (as they are from the same plant).
- All herbal tea is naturally caffeine free, and not technically considered tea. Since it doesn’t come from the Camellia sinensis plant (but instead from infusions of herbs and other plants), it isn’t actually tea!
- There is controversy as to when the tea bag was first invented. Some credit American tea importer, Thomas Sullivan, who shipped tea in silk tea bags in 1908. However, in 1901, two women from Wisconsin (Roberta C. Lawson and Mary Mclaren) filed patent US723287A for their invention – the Tea Leaf Holder.
- Too much tea can be dangerous. In 2014, a 56 year old man who drank 16 cups of iced tea per day experienced kidney problems. In this case, that much tea for an unspecified amount of time led to a buildup of oxalic acid in the man’s kidneys, and he suffered from renal failure.
- Different types of tea require different water temperatures and steeping times. Check out this guide for how long to steep tea.
More fun facts about tea
Now that you know a little more about tea, check out this information about the that’s just for fun!
- The most expensive tea in the world, Da-Hong Pao Tea, costs $1.2 million per kilogram ($600,000 per pound).
- In 2005, to celebrate its 75th anniversary, PG Tips made a diamond studded tea bag worth $15,000. It had 280 diamonds on it!
- Darjeeling tea is known as the “Champagne of tea”. Like Champagne, Darjeeling tea must come from a particular region (a 17,500 hecatere space with 78 different estates) in order to be allowed to be called Darjeeling tea.
- Putting milk in tea was originally not used for taste but as a symbol of wealth. Not all tea cups could handle hot water without it cracking the cup, so people had to pour in milk first to avoid this. Only wealthy individuals with good quality china could pour tea directly into the cup without it cracking. Therefore serving and drinking tea without milk served as a status of wealth.
- Tasseography is the term for the art of reading tea leaves.
- There’s a day dedicated to tea called National Tea Day. It falls on April 21, which is Queen Elizabeth II’s birthday!
National Tea Day dates
During the year, there are many national days and international days that celebrate tea of all kinds! We’ve listed the days in chronological order for you below.
- National Tea Day (also known as British Tea Day) falls on April 21.
- National Bubble Tea Day falls on April 30.
- International Tea Day falls on May 21.
- National Iced Tea Day falls on June 10
- National Cream Tea Day falls on the last Friday in June.
- National Chai Day falls on September 21.
In addition to having the above days dedicated to tea, there are also entire months dedicated to different kinds of tea. January is celebrated as National Hot Tea Month.
June is host to two different kinds of teas! It is celebrated as National Iced Tea Month and also Earl Grey Month.
Shop tea accessories
Now that you have learned some interesting tea facts, it’s time to pour yourself a cup of tea! Below are some of my favorite tea accessories, that will help you brew the perfect cup of tea.
The links below are affiliate links. I earn a small commission, at no extra cost to you if you purchase through an affiliate link.
One of the most helpful tools when it comes to brewing tea is a temperature variable tea kettle. I’ve linked the one I use! It has buttons with each variety of tea (and their recommended temperature) written on it.
Another helpful tea accessory is a tea scoop. This takes the guesswork out of measuring the tea to hot water ratio.
When it comes to loose leaf tea, having tea diffusers is essential. You can get either a stand alone diffuser, or a tea mug with a built in diffuser attachment.
Looking for more fact-based posts?
If you enjoyed learning these facts about tea, check out these other informational posts. At Always the Holidays, we love learning and sharing fun info!
- Are you a music lover? The our post on the history of vinyl records is a must read.
- If you like pina coladas, and dancing in the rain, check out the pina cola origin story!
- Check out the history of the bikini, where fashion meets controversy.
- Looking for another item with British history? Read about the fascinating history of gingerbread.
- Do you like booze and coffee? Then you’ll love the Irish coffee origin story.
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About the author
Since graduating from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Jess Speake has been living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She is a freelance writer, specializing in content related to fashion, food and drink and film industry topics. Find out more about Jess here.
FACT CHECK: Our editorial staff aims to be accurate and fair in all posts. If you see something that doesn’t appear correct, please click here to contact us. Always the Holidays reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.