So, depending on which tax you're referring to (and depending on when “pound” is referring to weight as opposed to the amount of currency) the colonists were paying a tea tax of between 0.8% (3 pence per pound) and 66% (4 shillings per pound).
Just so, why did they put tax on tea?
On this day in 1773, the British Parliament passes the Tea Act, a bill designed to save the faltering East India Company from bankruptcy by greatly lowering the tea tax it paid to the British government and, thus, granting it a de facto monopoly on the American tea trade.
What was the tax on tea in 1773?
The Tea Act, passed by Parliament on May 10, 1773, granted the British East India Company Tea a monopoly on tea sales in the American colonies. The passing of the Tea Act imposed no new taxes on the American colonies. The tax on tea had existed since the passing of the 1767 Townshend Revenue Act.
Why did the colonists not like the Tea Act?
Many colonists opposed the Act, not so much because it rescued the East India Company, but more because it seemed to validate the Townshend Tax on tea. These interests combined forces, citing the taxes and the Company's monopoly status as reasons to oppose the Act.