Turns out, a whole lot. Apparently the cold spring has delayed the usual picking time for Longjing, an exotic Chinese tea, but made the leaves better. Both of those facts have conspired to raise the price of that type of tea by about 15 percent.
According to one of the longest and best-researched articles on the tea trade I’ve read in quite a while, Chinese businessmen buy future in Longjing tea the same way Americas buy futures in oil, and wil the same effect of driving up cost.
Longjing has been called as the national drink of China, and is served to heads of state and other dignitaries. It’s a green tea that’s fired soon after picking to stop the fermentation process which would turn it into black or oolong tea.
But this could affect more than just the price of high-end green tea. According to the People’s Daily Online article:
Spring is the crucial season for the tea business. Tea that matures then is of the highest quality thanks to low temperatures and dry conditions. Research by the China Tea Marketing Association (CTMA) shows that the trade in spring tea occupies 75 percent of the entire year by value, although it consists of only 39 percent of the year’s production by volume.
Good thing I bought that kilo of jasmine green a month ago. Looks like I might be able to resell it for a good profit soon.