International Tea Day is observed every year on December 15 in countries like Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Vietnam, Indonesia, Kenya, Malawi, Malaysia, Uganda, India, and Tanzania. It is the second most used drink in the world after water. For some people, tea is an integral part of life which adds rhythm. China is currently the largest exporter of tea. According to a study conducted by the Tea Board of India in 2007, around 80 per cent of the total tea produced in India is consumed by the domestic population.
There is no better way to start our day than with the pleasant taste and aroma of tea. Legend has it that tea was first discovered over 4000 years ago in China by Emperor Nun Shen. On one of his visits to a remote region, the leaves of a nearby tree blew into a pot of boiling water which his servants had placed over a fire. The refreshing aroma invited the Emperor to taste the beverage, and the first cup of tea was born.
In the 16th century, tea made its way across the globe to Europe by Dutch traders, where it became a widely traded commodity thanks to the establishment of the East India Company in England. The rest, as they say, is history.
The first ITD was held in New Delhi in India in 2005. However, in 2015, the Indian government proposed to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation to expand International Tea Day across the world.
The reason for the UN celebrating May 21 as International Tea Day is that the season of tea production begins in May in most of the tea-producing countries.