Green tea, the most popular tea in the world, is not a natural source of carbon dioxide emissions, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced on Thursday.
But the tea industry has made strides in reducing CO2 emissions by switching to natural alternatives like tea leaves, water and fertilizers.
And the tea business itself has been doing so, with many of its tea estates switching from traditional plantations to greenhouses.
The USDA said in a statement that tea farms have cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% since 2004, and tea production and consumption are expected to rise by nearly 50% in the next 15 years.
The U.N. climate agency estimates tea will emit about 8.5% more CO2 by 2050 than conventional tea.
Green tea is one of the few crops that can produce CO2 without a crop of trees, a technique that allows farmers to grow crops on a relatively small land.
It has been used by many nations, including China and India, for centuries, but tea is still widely sold in the United States.