Turkey, Turkish breakfast with tea

Turkey broke its record for tea consumption during the pandemic

Turkey is the country which drinks most tea in the world: Turks drink 3 to 5 glasses of tea a day, with a consumption of 4 kg/year in the pandemic

Turkey broke its own record for tea consumption during the coronavirus pandemic: consumption of tea for each Turk, normally 3.5 kilos per year (making Turkey the country with the most tea consumption of all the world), increased to 4 kilograms/year per person in the pandemic.

These are the conclusions of a recent report prepared by the International Tea Committee (ITC, an organisation based in London), which indicates that, although consumption in cafes and tea houses was reduced during the pandemic due to quarantine measures and lockdowns, Turks continued to drink tea in their own homes, not only at the same rate, but even more frequently.

With 275,000 tons of tea produced in 2020, Turkey is also one of the world’s largest producers of tea, mainly for its own consumption. In contrast, other beverages such as coffee, which also has its own deep-rooted tradition in Turkish culture, have a much lower consumption compared to its European neighbours: Turkey ranks 10th in the world ranking of coffee importers, led by the EU countries.

“When it comes to tea consumption, we are the number one country in the world,” acknowledges Mehmet Erdoğan, president of the Rize chamber of commerce, a Turkish province in the Black Sea region also called the “tea capital in Turkey”, because this is where most of the country’s tea is produced.

“On average, a person in Turkey drinks between 3 and 5 glasses of tea a day,” Erdoğan assured; a statement supported by official statistics, which indicate that on average, a single Turk drinks about 1,300 glasses of tea a year: data that explains why Turkey continues to lead the world ranking of tea consumption. Erdoğan adds that both the production and consumption of tea in the country were not affected by the pandemic, because “people continued to drink tea, at home.”