In its various forms, tea is one of the most widely consumed beverages in the world. Elucidation of the chemical components of tea has revealed that the beverage is a rich repository of antioxidants. Among these are the polyphenolics, common to green tea, but also found in black teas together with oxidized polymers that in part account, for the darkened color. Consumption of tea on a regular basis has been associated with reduced risk of several forms of cancer in human populations, with the strongest evidence linking green tea use to reduction in cancer risk in parts of Asia. To understand how tea prevents cancer, studies in animal carcinogenesis models have been done with very encouraging results. This review examines the available data from animal studies on the effects of tea in the prevention of cancer.