Saturday, August 23, 2008

Supply the British with tea for ten thousand years

For the price of the Iraq War, we could satisfy the British thirst for tea for the next ten thousand years.  

The British lead the world in per capita tea consumption, with the average Briton consuming 2.3 kilograms of tea per year, enough to make 766 cups.  Since there are nearly 60 million people in Britain, total British tea consumption runs to 140 million kg.  

The global average wholesale price of tea is $1.95 per kg (link).   So satisfying British tea demand for the next ten thousand years would cost $2.7 trillion, which is less than Joseph Stiglitz and Linda Bilmes' estimate of $3 trillion for the cost of the Iraq War.

Image used under a Creative Commons License from fisserman.


Mitchell said...

I've just realized I probably consume more tea than the average Briton. Woo hook 'em!

Love the site, and hope you're doing well over in Singapore. Do you know the story behind the "No Cream Teas" sign?

Neil Sinhababu said...

Singapore is a nice place, and it's a great job. BTW, are you a mitchell I met in Texas?

As for the story behind the sign, someone just wrote a letter and got the answer.