Who said coffee and tea can't go together?

No worries-we don't mean from the same cup. Half the world drinks coffee daily, the other half prefers tea. That's why today's article is about TEA.

Every year, 3 billion tons of tea are produced worldwide. This 3 billion tons of tea is poured into the daily morning cup of nearly 2 billion people.

Quite a market, isn't it?

Where is all this tea produced?

But where is this tea produced? Whereas coffee production is mainly in South America, tea production is an Asian affair.

China is the main producer of tea, with an annual production of 1,600 thousand tons. In second place is India with about 1,100 thousand tons of tea per year. In third place is Kenya with about 400 thousand tons per year. India and Kenya being high-producing nations, they also left their mark on the British colonial period.

Which country drinks the most tea?

Unlike the coffee market, where the producer and consumer countries are on the other side of the earth, tea is consumed to a large extent in the countries where it is also produced in.

The four main countries where tea is consumed are:

  1. China: 1.700 thousand tons
  2. India: 1.000 thousand tons
  3. Turkey: 228 thousand tons
  4. Russia: 159 thousand tons

The list for highest per capita consumption of tea looks quite different:

  1. Turkey: 4,3 cups per day
  2. Ireland: 3 cups per day
  3. United Kingdom: 2,7 cups per day

How does tea production affect society?

Despite these differences in consumption patterns, coffee and tea share many common problems. In both productions, farmers struggle to achieve economic sustainability. Large corporations exert control over the entire production chain; consumers rarely have access to transparent and comprehensive information about the product they consume. In the process, the environmental and social impact of specific production practices is greatly underestimated.

Tea production is labor-intensive, and the industry provides jobs for many people in remote rural areas. Millions of livelihoods around the world depend on tea picking and processing.

As with many other agricultural commodities, real prices for primary producers have fallen dramatically over the past three decades. Low prices are straining the sustainability of the tea sector, with poor working conditions and livelihoods of small-scale farmers in tea producing countries under pressure.


Coffee or tea production will never be simple agriculture. Culture, economy, society and environment will always firmly influence agriculture. As Wakuli, we are very grateful that we can help these communities make their dreams come true and bring this amazing product to as many people as possible.

Theeproduktie Nepal - Vrienden brunchen. Een van hen toont een Wakuli pouch aan de anderen