Stories About Tea welcomes a new international guest writer, who will contribute once a month! Meet Chen Xueying from China, owner of Wuyi-rock tea factory. “I feel tea blending is like art.”
Who are you and what do you do within the tea industry?
My name is Chen Xueying and my English name is Cindy. I run a tea factory in Wuyishan city, where I do the tea planting, tea garden maintenance, tea production and processing and sales.
When did your passion for tea start and how?
My family is a tea family and started in the tea business when I was small. When I left school in 2006 I needed to find a job and I enrolled in the tea business.
What company do you work for and can you tell what you do?
My family have a tea factory named Wuyi -rock tea factory (in Chinese 武夷岩上茗茶厂) in Wuyishan city of Fujian province. I got married with my husband in 2013. He is from Chaozhou city of Guang Dong province and his family is a Dancong tea family and already in tea for four generations. So my tea business model is like family style business . Having our own tea garden, processing the tea and wholesale our tea in China. In 2017 we started our website: www.wuyiorigin.com .
How did the company you work for start and how big is it now?
In 2014 after I got married with my husband, we started our tea company. In the whole year we almost process 3000kg tea.
Can you describe what is so special about the region the tea of the company is grown?
In China we have 6 kinds of tea: Oolong tea, Black tea, Dark tea, Yellow tea, White tea and Green tea. For Oolong tea there are 4 main growing area in China: Wuyi oolong (Fujian province, Wuyishan city), Anxi oolong (Fujian province, Anxi city), Dancong oolong (Guang dong province, Chaozhou city) and Dong Ding oolong (Taiwan). My side of the family in Wuyishan processes the Wuyi oolong, my husband’s side family in Chaozhou processes the Dancong oolong. Most of the tea we are selling now is from our own garden, and some raw material we bought from our relatives. We do the processing ourselves, so we can keep our tea quality and style more stable.
What are your standout teas?
The climate is changing and that makes it hard to deliver the same tea every year. Every harvest time the weather is so different and that influences the raw material. The quality is not so stable. Every year we make some very good tea, but we also have some no so good tea. But my family’s wuyi oolong Rougui (Cinnamon ) quality is quite stable. We already won several competitions in China with our Rougui the last couple of years.
What is your personal favorite tea and why?
My favorite tea is the wuyi Dahongpao (one kind of wuyi oolong tea). I can choose different raw materials, according to the characteristics of different raw materials to make my favorite Dahongpao. I feel tea blending is like art.
Is there a favorite food pairing with a tea you would like to recommend?
I know food pairing is poular in countries like Holland and Belgium, but in China it is not so popular. We recentrly did one food pairing, fried peanut with the tea. Fried -peanut is quite hot, it is no so good for the health. When you combine it with tea leaves, the fried peanut dish is not so hot.
What is the tea culture like in China?
The tea culture in China is a really long story. China is a big tea producing country, but there are many people in China who know nothing about tea. For China as a country, tea is a culture, but for a simple Chinese family it is a Custom. My husband ‘s hometown Chaozhou for example is the original place of the Kong fu cha in China. For Chaozhou people tea is a necessity. People in Chaozhou call tea as tea rice,which means tea is as important as rice.