To investigate whether alcohol and tea consumption has an etiological association with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) in a high-incident population, a large scale case-control study was conducted. The study included 2846 individuals in Guangdong Province, China, with 1387 newly diagnosed cases of NPC and 1459 frequency-matched controls. Exposure histories of alcohol and tea consumption were obtained via personal interviews. Information regarding socio-demographic characteristics (age, sex, education, dialect and household type), family history of NPC, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, dietary habits and other potential confounding factors was also studied. An analysis was performed using unconditional logistic regression to calculate odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). The risk of NPC was found to be associated with habitual alcohol consumption and tea consumption. Tea consumption has been associated with a decreased occurrence of NPC (OR = 0.62), while consumption of alcohol was associated with a complex effect. Specifically, moderate consumption of alcohol was associated with decreased risk of NPC, while overuse, especially strong distillate spirits, appeared to be a risk factor.