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‘Everyone in the Chinese tea business is very worried about the future’

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According to Chen Xueying from China, owner of Wuyi-rock tea, business in 2021 wasn’t really affected by Covid, but this year is very hard. “Due to inflation and the epidemic, everyone is very worried about the future, so everyone is trying to control consumption as much as possible. I think not only the tea industry, but any industry will be affected more or less.”

How has covid affected your business?
The epidemic started in early 2020, but in the past 2020 and 2021, to be honest, the epidemic did not have much impact on small and medium-sized farmers like us, but in 2022, I feel that this year is the hardest year, because in this year’s In March, a serious epidemic broke out in Fujian Province and Shanghai in April, and then March and April were our production seasons. Due to the epidemic, non-local workers could not enter our city, which caused us to spend nearly twice the salary to hire local workers. At the same time, the cost of our production and processing has also increased very high, such as fuel. But the epidemic has caused none of our wholesale customers to come in to buy tea, so our tea sales this year will be slower than in previous years.

How has covid affected the Chinese tea business in general?
Due to inflation and the epidemic, everyone is very worried about the future, so everyone is trying to control consumption as much as possible. I think not only the tea industry, but any industry will be affected more or less.

Have you taken any special decisions to activate your tea business?
All along, most of our tea business model is wholesale, and it can be said that 90% are sold to people who do tea business, so we don’t spend time and thought on tea packaging at all, because all our wholesale customers buy our loose tea. Now, in order to broaden the market, we also spend more time and thoughts on the packaging of tea, and then sell it directly to the terminal customers, and at the same time, we also spend more time promoting our brand.

At your own tea garden: what are you busy with in august?
Our family’s tea harvest is from March to May every year. Then, in June, we entered the charcoal baking stage of Wuyishan rock tea. August is very hot. There is no work in the tea garden, so most of the work is baking tea in the charcoal fire room. At the same time, this time is the time to sell tea, and some baked rock tea can be sold.

Are there any new flavors you are working on?
Our tea is pure natural tea. As a tea producer, our mission is to show the taste of each variety with our technology. There are hundreds of varieties of oolong tea in Wuyishan under one category. For example, there are dozens of varieties of fruits. But we can guess which flavor is which fruit with our eyes closed. We also hope that our craft can make each of our varieties very standard, so that our customers can guess with their eyes closed. What we have been doing is to manage our tea garden well, understand our products, and then find out the most suitable technology for our tea processing based on our knowledge of our own tea raw materials and past production experience.

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