My daughter called me last week asking my opinion about the recent publicity of unhealthy food coming out of China. She mentioned that about 15% of their food supply is tainted. However, that didn’t apply to their exported food products because they only exported their very best products. So in the case of food, China is more interested in showing the world their very best.

I find it interesting that when it comes to tea, this philosophy doesn’t apply. As I’ve mentioned before, early tea that was exported from China was the very lowest grade of tea. I’m told it was tea that wouldn’t even have been drunk by the Chinese, as the quality was so low. I’m curious to understand this. Obviously, today very high grades of tea are in fact exported routinely around the world from China. I’m still told however, that the very, very best teas are not exported. They are reserved for the Chinese.

I’d welcome some explanation / discussion about this phenomenon. Perhaps as we become a truly global economy, each country must export their best in order to gain acceptance and demand around the world. I suspect tea would have become more mainstream a lot sooner if good quality teas had been provided to the general public earlier. Today it’s requiring people to try tea again, as most of us have early recollections of poor quality and improperly prepared tea. Today’s teas are a far cry from what Grandma offered you decades ago.

Photos
Main page: Longjing master fryers, Xinhua News
This page: An auction winner who won 200 grams of top-quality Longjing for USD $14,000, Xinhua News