Chinese Tea Industry

Tea (Camellia sinensis) has been one of the most important plants throughout human history and has far reaching impacts, historically, socially, economically, and culturally.

I had the opportunity to work (Dec 2014 – April 2015) for a high-end Chinese tea import and distribution company based out of California. During this position, I spent ten day in Fujian, China meeting with and purchasing from tea producers.

Although it was brief, this position was unique and inspiring because I was able to see the vast ways people interact with a single plant. An everyday aspect of the job was sitting with clients, brewing the same plant that could be vastly changed by: harvest time, harvest location, plant age, processing method, age, etc., to find the find the one combination of those features that the client enjoyed most.

The image to the left is me using a gaiwan (盖碗; /ˈɡaɪwɑːn/), a traditional lidded cup commonly used for tea assessment and sampling, for a tea tasting in Fujian, China.