We are coming to the end of the year. Here are my year end thoughts and findings for Chinese tea for this year.
1. The Chinese lockdown to curb the covid pandemic was a mixed result for Chinese tea. Tea drinkers, old and new, were buying tea and tea ware during the lockdown. Online sales, as expected were higher during this period. My Chinese tea dealer friends took this opportunity to sell tea at a retail level selling tea to families and tea drinkers. Sales were good but dried up immediately when the lockdown was lifted. At the same time, my tea dealer friends had also observed that major tea factories had reduced the tea for sale. Production batches of Chinese tea were also reduced. Selling prices for such new tea had also gone up by more than 10%.
2. The profile of Chinese tea buyers in China - There are less younger tea drinkers. The younger generation prefer to drink coffee at fancy establishment like Starbucks or prefer to drink bubble tea instead. My tea dealer friends noticed less people were willing buy tea for investments now. Present economic conditions are not conducive for tea investment even in Malaysia and Hong Kong. My 3 visits to tea shops in Malaysia these past few months indicated that tea business there was 'quiet'.
Chinese tea drinkers drink their tea 'neat'. We do not add pumpkin spice creme or cinnamon powder to our tea. There is no Chinese tea outlet where we can bring our laptop to sit by a window and do our work. At home, Chinese tea drinkers do not have fancy machines to brew tea. No capsules or drip tea. Only a gaiwan or a teapot. Many people still associate drinking Chinese tea only at Chinese eateries or brewing Chinese tea bags at home.
Serious Chinese tea drinkers should not be hermit tea drinkers at home. Invite friends and relatives over for a cup of tea. Let them enjoy the fragrance and taste of a good cup of Chinese tea. That is one sure way to increase the Chinese tea drinking community.
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