The sky rocketed white tea price

The authentic Fuding white teas

fuding white tea planationThe authentic white teas produced in the white teas’ heartland Fuding and Zhenghe of the Fujian Province (south-east of China), made from the plant species Fuding Da Bai Hao (福鼎大白毫 -Fuding Big White Fur/down) have always been considered as one of the top premium Chinese teas and have their unique role on the premium Chinese teas’ stage.

What is so special about Fuding white teas

Fuding white teas are known for their:

  • Limited production – only produced in a small pocket area of the Fujian Province of China.
  • Made from the unique species of the tea plan Fuding Da Bai Hao (福鼎大白毫 -Fuding Big White Fur/down), the tea leaves are strong, bold and rich in flavour.
  • Least processed tea of all teas, no rubbing, pressing or baking, simply withered and sun dried (with highly developed skills).
  • Refreshingly sweet in nature when fresh, age into mature teas with potent medicinal functions if stored probably.

Reasons for Fuding white teas' price hike

The Fuding white teas’ prices have in fact sky rocketed during the recent years. The market announced a 10-20% price hike over the 2018 new year after 10-35% increase in 2017 – determined by the market demand and supply ratio.

There reasons behind the hikes are as follow.  

Aged tea consumption culture

There has been a general increase in interest in consuming quality aged teas. Different from other well processed aged teas, such as Pu-erh tea and Hei Cha, white teas are:

  • Fresh and delicate to drink when young, similar to their green tea cousins. 
  • Age as un-processed teas while reserves all the natural ‘goodness’.

The ageing value only lays with the authentic Fuding white teas

White teas produced using other tea tree species, or using other methods than the original Fuding white teas' processing method do not possess the Fuding white teas' ageing potential and health properties.

Buy new tea, drink aged tea

Unlike most of other tea varieties, which are at their prime either fresh or well aged, white teas are ideal for consumption both young and aged. The locals have a tradition of buying seasonal white teas and drinking aged white teas.

The all rounded natures of Fuding white teas, the bold and elegant appearance, the gentle yet delicate pure flavour and the potent health effects all contribute to their increasing favour among tea consumers. 

 

 

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Pu-erh tea storage risks

Puer teaA big advantage of Pu-erh tea in comparison to other tea categories such as green tea, is its aging nature. There is not urgency to consume the tea while fresh as a tea naturally improves with ageing. The down side however is the risks of damage during the storage period. The following images surfaced during the recent cyclone/flood in Fang-Cun of Guang-Zhou (the tea trade capital of China): the street turned into a river of tea soup and tons of teas damaged. There is not available data on how much damage has been caused yet, but the sight is not looking good. 

A good aged raw (Sheng) Pu-erh or ripened (shou) Pu-erh would require at least good 10 years storage under optimal conditions. Many factors can affect the tea’s quality if not damaged completely. The sale price of tea is therefore: the original the purchasing cost, long term storage cost factoring the damaged stock along the way.

If global warming is affecting all aspects of human lives, tea industry is not excluded and Pu-erh tea is a vulnerable one. 

pu-erh tea

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Chinese new investment strategy - Pu-erh tea collection

There has been a recent surge of Pu-erh tea prices in China, 36%-150% over the last 12 months. Pu-erh tea is a tea class of its own, similar to premium wine in many aspects, it value increases with age. Its unique post –fermentation nature enhances its aroma and texture with time. The market value of aged Pu-erh tea generally increase by 10%-20% every year depending on the tea variety and original quality.

The following reasons are believed to have contributed to the recent surge of Pu-erh tea market prices:

  1. The inflation in China is high, especially in foods.
  2. The basic labour cost in the Yun-Nan Province has gone up significantly – reported to have doubled since last year. Tea making is a labour intensive process, from leaves picking to the final processing.
  3. Due to the radiation concerns about Japanese tea products after last year tsunami, many tea retailers have switched to products such as Pu-erh tea. Most of Pu-erh teas are high altitude forest wild gown with low risk of industrial pollution.
  4. Financial value: some investors use Pu-erh collection as investments. Many have tried share market and property investments during the last a couple decades. Property market in China now is considered to be overvalued and share market has been unstable. Pu-erh tea value increase is considered to be relatively steady.
  5. Personal value: Pu-erh tea is also believed to have many potent health benefits including reducing cholesterol and weight, and assist digestion.
  6. Pu-erh tea is still considered to be relatively cheap compared to other premium Chinse teas. There is therefore a bit of catching up happening.

In summary, the current demand of Pu-erh tea is high and the tea prices in China are largely driven by the balance of demand and supply. Similar to share market, we cannot predict at this point where the direction the Pu-erh tea price is pointing at. It is however the tea producer’s believe that it is unlikely to go down.

 

 

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