Cup #15,637 and counting... (stock image)

Cup #15,637 and counting… (stock image)

So how much tea will the average tea drinker consume in a lifetime? Well, it goes without saying that there are a large number of variables when it comes to figuring this sort of thing out. But we can at least try to arrive at some ballpark figures. Nowadays, the average lifespan of a human being on this earth is 71 years. For the sake of argument, let’s say that you start drinking when you become an adult, at age 18, and also for the sake of argument and round figures we’ll round off those 53 years to 50.

I suspect that most tea drinkers are like me and aren’t too keen to skip a day. So over a lifetime of tea drinking you will have a total of 18,250 days in which you drink tea. Next we’ll have to determine how much tea you consume in a day. For the sake of argument let’s say that a light tea drinker will put away about two cups a day at about six ounces per cup. That’s 219,000 ounces in a lifetime or 1,710.94 gallons. Adjust accordingly if you drink more or less tea in a day.

In my own case I probably drink at least six cups a day, which would be more than 5,000 gallons in a lifetime. However, I got my start with tea fairly late in life and so I’ll probably never make that mark unless I live to be really old.

So for all you six-cup-a-day tea drinkers, exactly how much is 5,000 gallons? Well, to put that in perspective, you will consume more than 213 bathtubs worth of tea in a lifetime. To put it another way, that’s about a small swimming pool full of tea – if you consider that an above ground swimming pool that’s four feet deep and 15 feet in diameter contains about 5,300 gallons. If you’re feeling really ambitious and you’d like to drink enough tea to fill Lake Superior, be advised that it’s going to take a while – more than 584 billion lifetimes. Which sounds like a rather tall order to me.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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