The folks at T Ching have spent the better part of half a decade promoting tea as a delicious beverage, touting its health benefits, its comforting ritual, and its spiritual history. Tea has such tremendous variety that there is a tea for everyone. Be it white, green, oolong, black, or herbal, you could probably drink a different tea every day of the year and have yet hundreds to look forward to.
Look around this website. Look at the hundreds – closer to two thousand – posts about tea. From literature to vacation destinations to recipes to “tea in the news,” this blog is Tea Promotion at its highest level. T Ching has certainly done a good job, as its “number one tea blog” status attests: sponsoring a tea ritual at a local high school; constantly staying hip with the latest and greatest in the community; bringing tea geeks together every day in so many ways; and promoting tea education at all levels, to name a few.
Time to celebrate, right? Yes . . . and no. According the India Times, tea consumption has risen 5%, while production has risen just 2%. Remember what you learned in Capitalism 101? Your school might have called the course Economics, but the lesson was the same: the good old rule of supply and demand. When demand goes up, the price goes up. If supply goes up and demand remains the same, prices drop. When demand and supply stay the same, price remains static.
When demand goes up, and supply goes down . . . prices raise a lot.
You might ask how much of that 5% growth in tea consumption / demand can be attributed to the plethora of tea soft drinks – about as far away from the real thing as Teflon is to a well-seasoned cast iron skillet. Certain brands of whiskey, beer, cookies, candy, diet products, and breath mints each make a claim to tea as an ingredient. What part of that 5% increase in demand is for the real thing? On the other hand, tea is the raw material for all of those end products. Demand is increased no matter what the cause of the increased demand.
So, while the mission has been proven successful, I’m going to have to sip a lot slower! I’m curious, how many of you have noticed the pinch when you purchase your favorite 100 grams?