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Acquiring other tastes

By Liu Zhihua ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-08-25 07:24:55

Acquiring other tastes

European-style afternoon tea is becoming increasingly popular in China, where people also brew foreign black teas to have a break. [Photo provided to China Daily]

In 2011, 24-year-old Yang Yang resigned her well-paid job in Beijing to settle down in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. There she partnered with a friend to plunge into the selling of black tea from India and Sri Lanka.

Why?

The previous year, when she worked for a Beijing tea trader, her eyes opened to the growing market for such teas in the Chinese capital, and she assumed they would also be wanted in Guangzhou.

What happened next confirmed her judgment. In 2012 and 2013, the business revenue increased more than 50 percent annually, she says. Sometimes, the daily sales totaled more than 10,000 yuan ($1,573). More recently, she says, the slowing economy and the anti-graft campaign have had an obvious impact on tea consumption, including imported tea.

Young Chinese are increasingly interested in Indian and Lankan black teas, which are a little more exotic than local varieties but are easy to find online as well as in stores, and come at relatively low price, carrying a centuries-old reputation for quality, Yang observes.

Cao Zhong, a 29-year-old Beijing resident, recently started drinking black tea from Sri Lanka after a co-worker introduced him to it. Now he enjoys collecting the "Ceylon teas", which became famous worldwide when the island was a British colony.

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