Looking for more avenues of consumption, the Indian Tea Board landed in Xiamen to attend the Tea Fair from 10th to 13th October 2013 along with six producers from Darjeeling, Assam, Bengal, Bihar and Nilgiri. It turned out to be a well- attended cross-straits affair, with producers and vendors from China, Taiwan, Japan, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Malaysia, Indonesia and Kenya.
From ITCC, we did a tea-warming session along with a road show of Darjeeling teas by promoting its apparently well-accepted new Chinese name of “xi fang mei ren”. Ip Wang Chi from Loc Cha tea house was our moderator. The crowd enjoyed Dan Robertson’s presentation of Chinese, Japanese, Taiwanese, Indian and Sri Lankan teas there.
Tealet – the modern internet-based marketing concept of bridging the gap between grower and consumer – was also represented by placing the Tealet sampler packs in the show. Doke, our Bihar farm devoted to growing teas from the land of Buddha, was promoted well – and appreciated very well – by the visitors.
Xiamen is a port industrial city with a tie guan yin base tea market in Fujian province on the lower east coast of China. Its earlier colonial name, Amoy, was coined by the Dutch. Xiamen is separated by a narrow swath of Taiwan straits, also appropriately called Formosa by the Dutch, whose heritage is preserved on a tiny island of Gu Lang Yu where beautiful European styled mansions are preserved intact to attract tourists. Gu Lang is appropriately nicknamed Piano Island.
A modern day food-processing industry has a strong presence in Xiamen. Great potential exists for the export of Indian teas to China – which is a net importer by numbers – if the right perspective is used to perceive production and consumption patterns. Presently, there is an absence of any officially released data by any appropriate appointed authority.