Tea is said to have originated in Southwest China as a medicinal drink and has for centuries played an important social and cultural role in the region. It is proudly presented as China’s national drink. Inevitably, China is the world’s largest tea producer and exporter. In 2017 alone, 2.5 million tons of tea were grown domestically across the country, more than in India, Sri Lanka and Indonesia (other major Asian tea producers) combined. Growing disposable incomes as well as an enhanced awareness of the health benefits of tea are likely to continue increasing Chinese tea retail sales and consumption.
Where does that leave coffee?
The coffee drinking trend is relatively new in China. The per capita amount of coffee consumed is on average a hundred times lower than that in the Western countries such as the United States and the UK. However, China’s domestic coffee demand is forecasted to triple between 2020 and 2025. The fast-expanding Chinese coffee consumer base, especially among females, makes China one of the most promising coffee markets in the world.