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?

A: 96%

Q: What percentage of tea is taken with milk?

A: 98%

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.

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