Interesting Tea Facts

Some Chinese histories assert that tea has been cultivated as long as three millenia.

Tea, that most quintessential of British beverages, was probably never tasted by Shakespeare. Tea's introduction to England was a good fifty years after his death in 1616. The poor guy probably never had a cup of coffee either.

Tea production, consumption, appreciation, and ritual were first documented in detail by eighth-century Chinese monk Lu Yu in a book known as the Ch'a Ching, a book that is still read today (translated into English as The Classic of Tea).

Samuel Johnson, creator of the celebrated Dictionary of the English Language, was known to drink 20 cups of tea at a sitting, and proudly claimed to drink 40 cups of tea each day.

In 2004, world tea production was on the order of 3.2 billion kilograms (or roughly 3.5 million tons). There are no statistics on what percentage of that is consumed by descendents of Samuel Johnson.