Tea Biz
Tea Biz

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Tea Biz News and Insight - May 13, 2022

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

HEAR THE HEADLINES: Tea Value Surges as Production Slows in China | International Tea Day is May 21. The Sofa Summit is on May 23 | Dan Bolton explains People’s Picky Preferences in Tea at an International Tea Day webinar hosted by the European Speciality Tea Association on Wednesday, May 18. Register free: https://specialityteaeurope.com/webinars

| NEWSMAKER – Ian Chun is a Japanese tea merchant, marketer, and CEO of Matcha Latte Media in Tokyo. 

| FEATURE INTRO – Japan set a record for tea exports in 2021. This week, Tea Biz travels to Tokyo to discuss with Yunomi Life founder Ian Chun Japan’s resurgent tea export market and the remarkable story of the hand-rolled green tea that brought two million yen at auction.

Japan's Tea Export Strategy is Working – Ian Chun founded Yunomi Life, an online platform showcasing 170 small-scale Japanese tea farms with a mission to put Japanese culture into the hands of consumers around the world. Farmers recently auctioned a kilo of Saemidori sencha for a record 1.96 million yen. In this segment, Ian describes the handmade needles and taste profile of the Saemidori cultivar, a Yabukita cross first bred in 1969 and registered in 1990.

The Tea Biz podcast delivers tea news that you need to know, a recap of the week's major headlines, with commentary and cultural trends. Hosted by Dan Bolton. It is the voice of origin for tea professionals and enthusiasts worldwide. Think of us as a digital caravan of story tellers, bringing authentic, authoritative and exclusive stories to you weekly from the tea lands. Hello everyone here. This week's headlines Tea Value Surges as production slows in China. In a National Tea Day is May Twenty First, and the Sofa Summit is may twenty three. Don't Miss People's picky preferences in tea a European speciality. Tea Association Webinar next Wednesday. Plus, you know me, Lie Founder I in Chun Discusses Japan's Resurgent Tea Export Market and the remarkable story of the record setting two million yen hand rolled green tea. More in a minute, but first this important message. What makes a Perfect Cup of Ceylon tea? The Perfect Cup is from the tea businesses that ensure the protection of all the children living within their tea estates. We Salute Kailani Valley Tellawackilee, Bogo, one, Thalawa, Harana and Elyptia tea estates support Save the Children Sri Lanka. Values serves as production slowed in China, a country that has powered tea growth for decades. China is the world's largest tea producer and consumes forty percent of global tea, mainly green consumption grew by an average of more than ten percent per year from twenty nine to two thousand and nineteen, but decline to two point five percent growth in two thousand and twenty. Last year's consumption is estimated to have increased by four point five percent, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit. In Two thousand and twenty one, the China Tea Marketing Association estimated the value of China's crop at increased by thirty billion one, about four point four billion US dollars. Two two hundred ninety three billion one, which is about forty three point two billion umus dollars, and eleven point five percent increase. Production increased by three billion kilows, up by two point six percent. Compared to two thousand and twenty. Production values in six of China's tea producing provinces exceeded twenty billion...

...one last year. That's about three billion dollars us. The problems with the highest value crop was Jusu at forty two billion one, followed by Shishwan at thirty three point five billion one, Fujian at thirty billion one, Ujejing at twenty six billion one, who buy at twenty two billion one, and new none at twenty billion one. Production stagnated in two thousand and twenty is China wrestled with Covid last year. The country recovered as demand for a way from home return to pre pandemic levels. Trying to produces forty five percent of the world's tea in two thousand and twenty one, experiencing an overall increase of about seventy seven thousand one hundred metric tons. Yellow Tea, highly prized but grown in small quantities, was the only tea category that declined in two thousand and twenty one, following eight point three percent to thirteen point three thousand metric tons. White Tea saw the biggest increase to eighty nine thousand nine hundred metric tons, rising eleven point four percent compared to two thousand and twenty. Green tea production was flat at point three six percent and increase of only sixty seven hundred metric tons to a total of one point eight five million metric tons. Black tea continues its growth, spurred four hundred and thirty five thousand metric tons and increase of seven point five percent compared to two thousand and twenty. Dark deep production increased to three hundred ninety seven thousand metric tons, a six point three percent increase, amounting to twenty three thousand five hundred metric tons. Woodlog remains the fourth most popular tea among growers and two hundred eighty seven thousand metric tons, but increased by only three point four percent compared to two thousand and twenty. The provinces that produce the largest quantities of tea were Fu John who by y non Shishmlan in Juzu Shiuan, showed the highest gain in production, recording a thirty four thousand seven hundred metric ton increase compared to two thousand and twenty. Business inside tea cultivation is considered essential to the Chinese government's efforts to reduce poverty. The government has eased access to credit for farmers applying for loans from agricultural banks and rural cooperatives that are used to purchase equipment and improve technology in the field. Consumption of black tea is accelerating, leading China to imports significant...

...quantities of Orthodox and CTCTS from Africa, India and Shri Lanka. The tea and Herbal Association of Canada Will Conduct Its Third Annual Sofa Summit from dusk till dawn on May twenty three. The event, hosted my thh AC president Chadnum Webber, is a global village, a virtual gathering where experts in their field have conversations about tea, health and tea culture. The summit is a youtube live event, recorded and free for all. The summit begins at Thirty am on Monday may twenty three. You can set a reminder at Youtubecom to watch the SOFA summit. Two hundred and two two. International Tea Day is celebrated annually on May Twenty one with events to raise awareness of the long history and deep cultural and economic significance of tea around the world. This year is the third observance. To learn more, visit www UN dot o rg and search for tea day observances. People's picky preferences in tea. Tea Trees are remarkably alike. Tea Drinkers are not chewing newly sprouted leaves in the ancient forest in Jingmai. Tastes a little different than nibbling buds pluck from expensive plantations ensues Wolca Japan, Asam India, she alanco or Mozambique. What sets tea apart is its transformation by the hands of man. Tea's infinite versatility results in chaotic, fragmented markets that are defined by consumer preferences in sourcing and cultural preparation. All the world's fine teas are local billion dollar brands prospered by marketing blends globally, but suppliers the concentrate on producing local teas earn the highest profits. A key differentiator is a preference for broken and who leaf teas that are produced using traditional, Orthodox methods. Generations of Russians, Ukrainians and Eastern European tea drinkers, as well as those in Turkey, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Libya and Jordan, prefer Orthodox Tea, a style that is experiencing a time of upheaval due to war an economic crisis. Join me in exploring regional tea brands including Oremi, Kai, Topal, Yorkshire, Boh Dilma and May tea, each with packaging merchandising in a taste so distinctive that consumers remain loyal for decades. The Webinar, a matter of taste, is Wednesday may eighteen at seven PM British Standard Time. That's two P M eastern standard time, and even...

...is hosted by the European speciality t association. Registration as free visits speciality Ta Europe calm slash of Webinars to sign up. Marketers say there are fifteen thousand teas, but a more accurate number is eight point two billion, which is a number of cups of tea consumed each day. Are Bender and in the man in Bengalooo reports on this week's tea auction prices in the at tea price report for the week end in May seventh twenty twenty two. After the heat wave, the country is now experiencing rain and thunderstorm. Several parts of India, including Kolkata in the East and the southern coast, and indeedier south India, have received rain and thunderstorms of very intensity. In other news in a historic move, as some stea gardens will see the opening of ninety seven high schools this week. Sofa Tea Gardens have offered primary school education to children of tea workers. This is meant at once the children finish primary school, they had to travel far to continue the schooling. This has also let increase dropouts. The current plan to introduce high schools as proposed back in twenty seventeen eighteen, with a plan for two hundred schools, of each hundred, nineteen were to be high schools. Besides lessons, the schools are also expected to offer breakfast and midday meals to students in tea. Price is all action centers were operational for sale eighteen in north India, Orthodox Leaf and dust. So good updike and a continuing trend from the previous week. The Strand was also seen in the south, with going but though seeing hundred percent of Orthodox leaf and OFFA. Sould and Kuno sold hundred percent of Orthodox dust in the stud uni leave on the north and Avery Thomas in the south. Top bias. Only half the dog len ti and OFFA was sold. With the demand for organic wholief grades. We also have a comparison with sale eighteen for two thousand and twenty one, and this indicates a lower volume of CTC leaf and dust in both north and south India this year. And now a word from our sponsor. Que Trade understands that a successful tea blend goes beyond the creative fusion of appearance, a Roma and flavor. Are Multi Award winning product development team is passionate about converting natural ingredients into sensory experiences that customers grave. Every recipe is formulated with a commercial backbone of dependable quality sourcing, with a pricing structure that supports a safe, regulated, profitable and scalable bland. Q trade meets every brand's retail, food service and ECOMMERCE need. For more information, visit our website, que trade teascom. This way t BIOS travels to Tokyo to discuss with you. Know Me. Life founder is in Chun, Japan's resurgent tea...

...export market, and the remarkable story of the record setting two million yen hand rolled green tea being Chun is a Japanese tea merchant, marketer and CEO of Macho laute media in Tokyo. In two thousand and thirteen he founded you know me live and online platform showcasing a hundred and seventy small scale Japanese tea farms with a mission to put Japanese culture into the hands of consumers around the world. Is Real pleasure to have you on the podcast. Ian That was was downded recently to see the record setting two million yen sale of a single Klou of authentic hand rolled Green Samadori Sencha at the Shuswolka farmers market. The transaction value was actually one point one thousand nine hundred and six eight million two be precise, it's about Fifteenzero US dollars. This is a record price for tea sould at the first auction. Actually, it's a record price for tea sold in Japan. What the English news media has not portrayed is that there is a very specific reason for this specific price. The tea was sold by the new jade Japan Aticle tr coop division called Fujiizoo. This co OP is a merging of eight different smaller co ops in the eastern region of Shizokam and so the previous record was set last year at one point zero eight million yen. A. I guess you would say business partner of the new coop decided that they were going to make it a celebratory number by taking that one hundred and one point zero eight millionon figure, adding eight hundred eighty eight thousand yen to that figure and bidding on the tea for one point nine sixty eight million en. It has a price as an auspicious me to it. The number eight in the Japanese language has auspicious meaning to it. So they are basically congratulating the coop for their wonderful new venture. And so that's the backstory to to the to the pricing of the of this tea. The idea is to create a congratulatory moment for the Co op. Let's talk a little bit about the tea itself. It is a handmade to you from the Samondory cult of OAR. The Yambo key too, cross first bread in one thousand nine hundred and sixty nine and registered in nineteen ninety. What are the qualities that make this t cult of our special? So the signing doting CULTIVAR has been a rising star in the last few years in the tea industry in Japan. It is...

...a cultivar that has a very strong element of sweetness to it. The sweetness and mummy flavor in tea leaves is generally what is valued in in the Japanese market. Also valued is the color of the leaf, the shine of the leaf, the appearance of the leaf is also valued. So when somebody is bidding on tea, the pasters judged by tasting a tea that's been basically steep to boiling water for several minutes, looking for defects in it. And the Simi, though the CULTIVAR are generally has a. It has a tendency to have a very sweet rather than bitter flavor, which gives it an advantage over the standard, the most common cult of our Yagotta. If you see photographs of the tea that was bit on, you can also see that because it was hand rolled, it's very, very, very fine needles, and this is a characteristic of hand rolling that you can get these very, very fine needles. They've probably also done some refinement by taking out smaller, less needle shaped needs from the batch, and so you will get a one of the most beautiful leaves that you, if you ever have a chance to see this, will ever see. Well, one of the difficult things about hand rolling is that you do need to have a master who is very, very, very skilled and pounded hand rolling. The when Sania leaves anythy type of Centra type of leaf like cood or cut the stitch off, they are rolled by machines that built to imitate hand rolling. So in any region of Japan you have hand rolling preservation societies that teached farmers and processors, not just farmers but farmers and processing, processor, processing workers, how to hand roll the tea. And by learning how to hand roll the tea properly, that allows them to adjust the machines by the amount of temperature, that of the air that's blown in to help Leef get dry, and those things are something that you learn by hand rolling. So when you hand roll, you know what the field the leaf is and then when you're using machines, you can, you know, take some leaf out of the machine to feel it, to see exactly how the processing is going. But a machine also also allows you to standardize the process, whereas hand rolling is very much an art and craft. So somebody who is very, very good at hand rolling will be able to produce a very, very good tea leaf. Your example of preservation societies established to pass on the skills of hand rolling tea is indicative of people who respect the leaf and traditional processing as a practical art. Japan has seen the demise of traditional methods recently because of the coast of maintaining standards divided by local custom and codified by the awarding of geographical indicators. In any industry, the you have the high level and the low level, the high grade and the low...

...grade, and I would say that even in match of production, the traditional method of producing is using Straw built over a canopy that allows the tea leaves to grow freely, that you would be in hand pick and then you would you process it into tension and grind it into Mucha the types of methods that are utilized to increase the volume and therefore lower the price, certainly, you know, are a break from tradition. A positive note, you would say that there are modern innovations that help the farmer increased profitability, and certainly there are many, many farmers who are not traditionally Tenshi farmers and who are many factory processors who are not traditionally Tensho, and much of factories, and they may not they may be operating without knowing exactly how it was done and how it should be done. You can definitely see that the innovations that are made are made with a background of the original methods. For example, when you look at, you know, the grinding machines and the quality that is necessary for Matcha. In the grinding machines, the traditional grinding machine is the stone mill, and now you have things like the ball mill and grinding machines, as well as as jet air propulsion of pulverization machines, and these machines, you know they operate in a different way, in a very different method than the stone mills, than the traditional stone mills. They allowed the processor to produce the Grind Macha and much, much larger quantities than much more efficiently. They know that you need to be able to specify, for example, the size of the grain of the of the Matcha, so a standard grain size for traditionally know the Maucha is generally about, on average, five microns, and so we you could get to five microns with these pulverization machines if you wanted to, and so that type of that type of knowledge is still exists in the industry. I do think that you see people utilizing the tradition for marketing gimmates in a kind of in authentic way. I see this even in Japan, where you see Macha sold in cheap chocolates and it says that it was stone mill ground, and so if it's stone mill ground, it should be high quality. But you know, if they use low quality leaves and they stone mill grind it instead of grinding it properly to the full five micron size, they can grind it very quickly to get more efficiency out of the stone mill and then have a more coarse grain that they can been used for...

...marketing. So it works both ways, I think, and there's definitely a lot of knowledge industry that is based off of a century of research. You could say that Japanese producers have been researching team methods for hundreds of years. P exports, led by Mantra, we're up twenty six percent to twenty billion yen, about a hundred seventy five million US dollars last year, as Japan set an export record out bound marketing land to a seventeen percent increase in volume. The government has set a thirty billion yen per year sales goal by twenty thirty. There's even provincial level funding for marketing Japanese tea's overseas in Europe and the US. Will you share your insights on export opportunities? So this still represents about seven percent of Japanese production, which is, you know, a record and it's increasing. Exports represent a last year where set a record. It's still only represents a fraction of the industry. Exports are rising and bottled tea is right in terms of consumption, and that has been made clear by the Ministry of Agriculture here. Leaf tea consumption has actually been decreasing. More and more peopleful are moving away from purchasing leaves and steeping leaves and therefore the industry itself is very aware of this slow crisis that's building. Demand for the larger demand for tea in Japan is decreasing. The exports. Exports demand is increasing, but not nearly enough to back up the replace the decreasing domestic demand for TV. It's just why producers in Japan ask their buyers, you know, what kind of tea does the market in your country lie? There needs to be more communication, I think. I think that will improve it. Everything intrigued by what you heard in today's podcast. Would you like to learn more from our global network of TB is journalists and t experts? Remember to visit the t Biz website from more comprehensive coverage. That's Wawwat Biz Bi zlcom thanks for listening. Farewell till next week.

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