Are You a Tea Statistic?

Tea drinking statistics abound. Have you ever wondered when you see a bunch of these statistics how you rank in relation to them? It seems to be human nature for people to do this. You might think “That statistic applies to me” or “Gee, I’m not anything like that nor do I know anyone like that.”

Of course, any statistics have to be approached with caution. There are lots of factors that can affect them, such as the objectivity of the people putting them together, the reliability of their sources, and their methodology for gathering the data.

Recently, I saw some statistics about tea drinking in the U.S. in 2009. In some areas, I’m definitely out of line with them, but in other areas I’m a true tea statistic. See how you measure up.

First, one stat says that we Americans consumed in excess of 60 billion (yes, “billion”) servings of tea in 2009. If you drink a cup a day, you’re not doing your fair share. Personally, I’m trying my best to live up to that statistic just in my regular daily intake and excluding tea tastings (add them in and the percentage is even higher).

Another stat says that about half of the U.S. population drinks tea, with most of the consumption being in the South and the Northeast. Not too sure about this one. Those of you who live in those areas, do you drink a lot of tea? Most people I know around here drink coffee and, in Summer, some iced tea but mostly sodas. Maybe I’m just hanging around with the wrong people (or hogging all the tea).

Another statistic seems doubtful to me based on personal observation (yeah, I know, not very scientific). It says that 85% of tea consumed in this country is iced. That seems overly high. I could believe 35% countrywide. Maybe the statistic was based on surveying restaurants. Considering the manner in which most of them (excluding tearooms that focus on serving teas) present tea to their customers (a mug of warmish water and a string-and-tag-teabag), it’s small wonder that not a lot of hot tea is consumed in them. This is definitely an area where I am not in line with the statistics, since I hardly ever drink iced tea. If you like your tea chilled, you’re definitely part of the iced tea “in” crowd.

As for ready-to-drink teas, this report shows a big increase. Seeing the bottled brands now crowding the grocery store shelves, I can believe this one. Do you chug your tea pre-prepared from a bottle? Then, you’re in line with the statistic. To me, drinking bottled tea seems like fixing a nice soup, straining out all the good stuff like chunks of beef, carrots, peas, potatoes, etc., and slurping up the broth after watering it down a bit. They also seem to be heavily flavored with fruits and other stuff. Makes me wonder why people don’t just drink some fruit juice or a fruit-flavored soda. Sorry, being very “unstatistical” here.

As in Britain, tea drinkers in the U.S. favor teabags, according to these statistics. Now, this is where I am so unstatistical that I’m totally off the charts. With a few exceptions, I go for the loose stuff. If you’re still “bagging it,” though, then you have plenty of company. Time to get out of your comfort zone and chuck the bag?

One statistic that certainly applies to me is that the majority of tea I consume is black tea, with green, then Oolong and finally white in lesser amounts. That is slowly changing as I get into Oolongs more and more. What do you find yourself reaching for most?

No one is saying that these statistics are off, but some of them do seem surprising. Like all those survey results you hear about almost daily on the news, these statistics may or may not be accurate. Regardless, I will go on merrily being a tea statistic (even when in the minority) and enjoying tea my way. Here’s hoping you do the same. Cheers!

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4 thoughts on “Are You a Tea Statistic?

  1. Karen Diwan

    I am totally non-statistical. I love my loose tea leaves and never drink the bottled stuff. I’ve even taken my loose leaf tea & my own strainer to restaraunts and just asked for hot water & then I order a pasrtry or light lunch to go with my tea.

  2. Thanks for the information and great perspective. Lelia’s Tea Ware is located in Seattle and tea is becoming or is very popular with the younger generations. Unlike me growing up with black bag tea, they are very interested in green and herbal teas. They do seem to be baggers as well.

    We also have a big Asian population who find tea fundamental to life.

    I lived in the South as well and enjoy iced tea but have never developed a taste for sweet tea.

    Lelia’s is an online retailer but I like to go about and see what people are drinking and talk to them about tea.

  3. In the South, and I am the only hot tea drinker among my family and friends. When I say only, I mean only, from Missouri through North Carolina down to Florida and Alabama. And Good Lord, don’t ever ask for hot tea in a restaurant in the South! You get a bag of some brand you never heard of thrown at you and a bent-up aluminum pot of tepid water. I’ve found the North East is the only place to get real tea in a restaurant. In fact, it was a tea drinking experience at the Plaza in NYC many years ago that propelled me into seeking good tea. I guess I should write a blog post about this. 🙂

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