The 22nd Xinyang Maojian International Tea Cultural & Business Conference was opened on April 28, 2014, in Xinyang, Henan province of China. On its second day, the conference held a seminar which focused upon Xinyang Maojian tea – a green tea which is compared to beautiful eyelashes, has a cloudy liquor, and is one of the top 10 famous teas of China.
We had been on a quest to find suitable machinery and methods for making our Darjeeling tea more attractive in appearance – since it is termed broken, choppy, mixed and what not. The liquors are termed astringent. Taiwanese Dong Fang Mei Ren, or Oriental Beauty, is akin in appearance and taste to Darjeeling tea and is its closest cousin. It is a limited edition tea.
We visited Anhui Agricultural University, Zhejiang Agricultural University, the National Tea Museum, the Xi Hu Long Jing Mei Jia Wu tea village of Hangzhou, and tea machinery manufacturers of Quzhou and Quanzhou – all to find suitable venues for our ideas to promote 9 million kilos of Darjeeling tea, which has its largest future market in China.
There is a trend of new teas everywhere – Yunnan is making CTC, everyone is making Jin Jun Mei and Darjeeling itself is adopting many white and oolong speciality teas. You hear new names every other day – Ruby, Thunder, Moonlight, Wonder, Emerald, Peony, and so on – which hardly allows the buyer to visualize the tea being offered. Provided with high resolution photographs, one “sees” the tea, but the flavours and aromas associated with time-tested teas cannot be related to.
With the beginning established, we found lots of scratches below the surface and learned that most of the other major players are on our trail or we on their trails. China has a tea drinking population of a billion plus people. With income and spending trends showing ups and downs, Darjeeling has a very strong potential in China. With projected insurgents from neighbors Nepal and Sikkim, conflicts must be resolved quickly to win the situation.
Images courtesy of the contributor