That’s the tea is a popular slang expression dropped at the end of an extensive gossip session, with tea being a slang term for gossip.
A similar expression related to the beloved hot drink of Brits and tittle-tattle is spilling the tea, signifying that the rumors are being spread.
While the exact origin of the phrase is unclear, it is considered to come from the drag culture of England in the 1980’s or 1990’s.
An early mention of “that’s the tea” can be found in the 1998 movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”.
Following the premiere of the motion picture flick, the expression would be adopted more widely, specifically by Americans.
In 2019, “Game of Thrones” actress Sophie Turner started making a series of Instagram stories, giving voice to her opinions and world views, followed by a sip of some beverage, combined with the phrase “that’s the tea”.