21/01: On Ancient Tree Tea III

You would think I have done talking on Ancient Tree Tea? Not quite yet.

I am going to talk about the risk factors involved in Ancient Tree Tea today.

First, are you really getting a genuine ancient tree tea when you pay big money? Most likely not. Please don't believe the label nor the story your tea vendor tried to tell you. It's a sin for a tea vendor to tell you a lie, but for the majority of the time, the tea vendor is a victim himself. If you had toured the tea fields in these famous tea villages, you would discover the ancient tea trees were grown side by side with some plantation tea trees. In additon, it's common practice for tea farmers to mix a high priced tea with some low priced teas from another place, then to sell as a high priced tea. The problem happened at the source.

Secondly, most ancient tree teas were processed by tea farmers (because they owned the lands with these tea trees) in their home at a small scale. Before 2007, most tea farmers did not know how to make a good tea - a tradition lost because of the depressed market for ancient tree tea, they were selling fresh tea leaves cheap. Even old hands turned rusty in tea making, they had to brush up their skills when the market started to boom. For instance, in a famous Mangzhi tea village, I only trusted 3-4 tea farmers to make a decent tea. Without propper processing, some good raw materials become substandard. So if a big tea factory comes along, offering you 5 tons of premium ancient tree tea from a famous tea mountain, you bet it's BS.

Yes, some may offer a contract for tea farmers to sign, and to buy the upcoming harvest at guaranteed price, but these contracts were often not honored simply because a tea farmer had sold his harvest to a higher bid he just encountered. I had been bumped when I arrived at a tea village, I was told my confirmed order was null and the stock had been sold to someone else.

Thirdly, the tea stockpiled during last few years was estimated at 200,000 tons. Gods know what's going to happen once these stocks are released. It's likely these old stocks would flood the market when the price is right, thus the market would crash like 2007. If not, in 2014 more money is going to be spent to buy more - people now take the tea as a safe investment when the inflation is out of control. The problem is that people who owned the stocks are rich enough so they would hold on their stocks to earn a higher return, at least it's proven they beat the inflation all along. A bigger bubble is under the way...

(These aren't risks for us fortunately. Because we buy a tea because it's good and reasonably priced, we don't buy a lots. If you tell me it's an ancient tree tea but tasted badly, you won't get a penny from us).

Comments made

Thanks for this. "The proof is in the pudding," as they say, so long as the pudding fits with your pocketbook.
22/01 09:16:51

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