Last month we welcomed Chen Xueying from China, owner of Wuyi-rock tea factory, as a guest writer at Stories About Tea. How is she coping with Covid 19 / Corona? “In September, China’s autumn is here. Everyone starts to drink rock tea and black tea. Our family has entered the peak sales season until the Chinese New Year.”
How are you coping with Covid 19 / Corona?
Our government has taken very large measures to control the spread of the epidemic. First, the highway was cut off and the leaders of the local villages implemented door-to-door inspections. To ensure that there were no outsiders, and then arranged for professional medical staff to take temperature measurements every day.
What do you normally do when it comes to the production of tea at this time of the year?
Every year in mid-March, our house starts to organize the factory and do some maintenance of machinery and equipment. We start to make green tea at the end of March, and then we make black tea in early April, until the end of April. Then in late April we started producing Wuyi Rock Tea until mid-May. From mid-to-late May to August, our family’s job is to refine the tea, such as the selection of Maocha and the baking of the rock tea. In September, China’s autumn is here. Everyone starts to drink rock tea and black tea. Our family has entered the peak sales season until the Chinese New Year.
How does Covid 19 / Corona influence your tea making process?
We started production at the end of March. Normally, every year, our workers made reservations at the end of the previous year. We gave them a deposit and then they came to work at my house in the coming year. Many of our workers are from Jiangxi Province (next to Fujian Province). Due to the epidemic this year, we are seriously short of employees this year. Throughout the production season, most of the work was done by our own family members. Of course, we were all very tired.
How does it influence your business?
Our main customers are the owners of tea shops, perhaps in the tea business. They normally come to my house in the spring of every year to check the production, and then determine the tea they need throughout the year. Due to the epidemic, many of our customers stopped coming during the spring tea season. But now our sales are still OK, because they all need tea for business, so our sales are still OK, but the speed is a bit slower than in previous years
What do you think the future will bring for your tea business?
Because our family is a small tea farmer, we mainly produce and process our own raw materials. The total is about 2500 kg a year. Our family has been producing and selling tea since the 1990s. We have a stable customer base. Some customers have been with us for 15 years. Tea is a healthy drink. In China, more and more people drink tea, and at the same time more and more young tea drinkers this is a good trend. For my family, because we don’t have too much ambition to be bigger and stronger. We just want to do a good job of our existing resources, and using our craftsmanship to present the perfect state of each tea is enough. As for business, leave it to the market.