Happy Chinese New Year. Its the year of the tiger and I wish all my friends, readers and tea buddies a roaring year ahead. It is already the 5th day of the Chinese New Year and I am have brewed up some Chinese tea and poured them into a few cups, settling down on my work table to write this blog entry.
I looked forward to the year of the tiger. Singapore had started vaccinated air travel late last year and the response was very good. The Omicron dealt a set back these 2 months but I foresee this as a temporary disruption before air travel starts to pick up again in summer this year. I may need to travel to Europe end of this year and I hope to visit Mona (her 2nd name is Lisa) during a free day there.
Talking about tea, here are some news:
1. Price of Chinese tea is not getting cheaper. Chinese tea is getting expensive. Older tea (10 years or more) like pu erh and oolong are seeing a dramatic price increase (within China and outside China as well). This is due, from what I gathered, not due to an increase in tea drinkers but instead due a reduction of tea being produced or made available for sale. My tea distributor friends told me they noticed the new tea produced are much less in terms of quantity. Limited edition teas were also hard to get. For older tea, collectors are now only willing to sell the tea for much higher prices.
2. Physical tea shops are not doing well. Due to restrictions, many tea shops see a drop in customers to their shops. Many are now operating online and may even reduce their shop size or closing down the physical shop entirely and opting to sell and buy tea online.
3. Tea buyers now get their tea online. Yes, we buyers are spoilt for choice with many online shops offering a big variety of tea and tea ware at comparable prices. Most of these tea are new tea. Buying the older and more expensive tea is a little more tricky, unless you are familiar with the seller. I myself have bought a gorgeous travel tea set and I will be writing on it soon. However, I am starting to see many online shops that sell tea.....that tea is just one of the many products in their store. This meant that the shop may be selling handphone accessories, toys, bags and other stuff and tea is just one item within the store. The shop may have a carton of pu erh and a carton of tinned oolong and only replenish the tea carton once the tea has been sold out. Is this good or bad? You decide.
Happy New Year. Live long and prosper.