Tea (Camellia sinensis L.) seed shells, the main byproduct of the manufacture of tea seed oil, were used as precursors for the preparation of tea activated carbon (TAC) in the present study. A high yield (44.1%) of TAC was obtained from tea seed shells via a one-step chemical method using ZnCl2 as an agent. The Brunauer-Emmett-Teller (BET) surface area and the total pore volumes of the obtained TAC were found to be 1 530.67 mg2/g and 0.782 6 cm3/g, respectively. The equilibrium adsorption results were complied with Langmuir isotherm model and its maximum monolayer adsorption capacity was 324.7 mg/g for methylene blue. Adsorption kinetics studies indicated that the pseudo-second-order model yielded the best fit for the kinetic data. An intraparticle diffusion model suggested that the intraparticle diffusion was not the only rate-controlling step. Thermodynamics studies revealed the spontaneous and exothermic nature of the sorption process. These results indicate that tea seed shells could be utilized as a renewable resource to develop activated carbon which is a potential adsorbent for methylene blue.