Tea Glossary and FAQ's
With 84% of the British population drinking tea and herbal infusions every day, there is an understandable thirst for knowledge on all aspects of tea. Here are a few answers to some of the most popular questions asked about tea. If your question is not answered here then please contact us with your question.
Q: How many of cups of tea do the British drink each day?
A: Approximately 100 million cups daily, which is almost 36 billion per year [Source: ITC].
Q: Are we now a coffee drinking nation?
A: No, the number of cups of coffee drunk each day is estimated at 70 million.
Q: Who is the largest per capita tea drinking nation?
A: Republic of Ireland followed by Britain.
Q: Who is the largest producer of tea in the world?
A: China with 2,230,000 tonnes, India is second with 1,191,100 tonnes, Kenya third with 399,210 tonnes (2015 production).
Q: What percentage of British tea is consumed from a tea bag?
Q: What percentage of tea is taken with milk?
Q: What is an antioxidant?
A: An antioxidant is a compound, which retards oxidation. In the body antioxidants can 'soak up' free radicals.
Q: What is a free radical?
A: Free radicals are unstable substances which can disrupt biochemical processes in the body and have been implicated in cancer and heart disease.
Q: Does tea contain antioxidants?
A: Tea, like fruit and vegetables is a natural source of polyphenols and flavonoids which have antioxidant activity.
Q: Does the addition of milk reduce the antioxidant value?
A: The addition of milk does not appear to affect the bioavailability of the tea flavonoids
Q: Do green and black teas come from different plants?
A: No, they both come from the same plant known by its botanical name Camellia sinensis.
Q: Does tea contain the same level of caffeine as coffee?
A: No, at least half the level of coffee.
Q: How do you produce decaffeinated tea?
A: Simply by "washing" the tea leaves towards the end of the production process in an organic solvent. The method is strictly governed by legal limits.
Q: How many varieties of tea are there?
A: UK Tea & Infusions Association estimates about 1,500 varieties of Camellia sinensis.
Q: Is green tea better for you than black tea?
A: Both varieties come from the plant Camellia sinensis and both have similar amounts of antioxidants and minerals.
Q: Why does tea refresh you in hot weather?
A: It simply raises the body temperature momentarily, you perspire and the perspiration on your skin creates a cooling effect. Cold drinks quench your thirst but do not reduce your core temperature.