International Tea Day (UN) | May 21
(Last Updated On: May 18, 2023)


Every year on May 21st, International Tea Day promotes ways to sustain the production and consumption of tea. It’s also a day to spread awareness of the importance of tea in fighting hunger and poverty.


You might be surprised to know that tea (not coffee) is the preferred beverage of choice for millions of people in the world. The global per capita consumption of tea is 35.2 liters. Every second, people consume 25,000 cups of tea. This equals 2.16 billion cups of tea per day.

As the world population increases, so will the number of tea drinkers. Tea is especially popular in India and China. These two countries account for 37% of the world’s total population. Tea has a rich history in the world. According to legend, Emperor Shen Hung discovered tea when leaves from a tree blew into his pot of boiling water. This event happened in ancient China nearly 5,000 years ago. People in China and around the world have been drinking tea ever since.

Besides drinking it for taste, many tea drinkers enjoy the many health benefits of tea. These benefits include:

  • Contains antioxidants
  • Reduces one’s risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Aids with weight loss
  • Protects the bones
  • Prevents tooth loss
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Helps battle cancer
  • Soothes the digestive system
  • Helps the body to feel more relaxed

According to one particular study, habitual tea drinkers were less likely to die prematurely. These people drank tea at least 3 times a week. Green tea seems to have more health benefits than black tea.


Tea producers hold events on this day to educate the public on the importance of this beverage. Teahouses host tea-tasting events and people throughout the world gather together for tea parties. The best way to participate is to drink a cup of tea. You can make it at home, or gather at a teahouse with some friends. Be sure to try a flavor of tea you’ve never had before. Share your favorite tea on social media with #InternationalTeaDay.


Ever since 2005, tea-producing countries banded together to celebrate an International Tea Day. These countries included Sri Lanka, Nepal, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, and Uganda. In 2019, the Intergovernmental Group on Tea proposed to celebrate International Tea Day on May 21st. The UN approved the proposal on December 21, 2019. The first official UN-sanctioned International Tea Day was held on May 21st, 2020.

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