Steady progress made in Wuyi's tea industry
Black tea, red tea, white tea, and green tea (from left to right) made in Wuyi county in Zhejiang province [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]
Wuyi county in Jinhua, Zhejiang province has long been a well-known tea manufacturing base. However, before the 1990s, most of the county's tea plantations sat idle for several months out of the year as they awaited the spring harvest season, leading to unsatisfactory profits.
In the early 1990s, locals invented a high-quality pine-needle-shaped green tea and named it "Wuyang Spring Rain". The tea variety soon spread throughout the county's plantations, significantly boosting the quality and popularity of Wuyi tea. Meanwhile, the county also started to grow highly lucrative organic tea in remote areas far from industrial pollutants.
After 2014, the county was no longer confined to just green tea production and started to make black tea, red tea, and white tea. Now, harvest season for Wuyi's tea plantations runs from late-February to early-November, which has greatly enriched tea growers.
The county's black tea is mainly exported to foreign countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative, while its white tea supplies Starbucks coffee shops across the world.
In addition, the county started to process green tea into matcha several years ago. Matcha can not only be drunk like traditional tea, but is also an ingredient in cakes, beauty masks, and nutritious foods. The added value for the same amount of green tea could hence be doubled or tripled.
In 2019, Wuyi's tea production volume stood at 16,600 metric tons, grossing 1.082 billion yuan ($159.7 million) in revenue; the turnover for the county's entire tea industry was 2.035 billion yuan. The total income for the county's tea farmers, which number around 60,000, has risen by nearly 30 percent since 2014.
A dessert made from Wuyi-produced matcha [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]