Sri Lanka to Boost Black Tea Sales in China
Sri Lanka is exporting over 7 million kg of Ceylon tea to China per year
By Ma Xiaowen  ·  2016-08-05  ·   Source: | Web Exclusive

A Ceylon tea promotional evening, savored with a cultural show, was staged atthe Beijing World Hotel on August 3.

Ceylon black tea, a Sri Lankan specialty, has a crisp aroma reminiscent of citrus, and is used both unmixed and in blends. It is grown on numerous estates which vary in altitude and taste.

"Chinese tea is mainly green tea, which is the unfermented tea, usually made at about 70 degree water temperature, but Sri Lanka tea is mainly black tea, which is fully fermented, and made with much higher temperature, the tea can be made with or without milk or sugar," said Hasitha De Alwis, Director of Tea Promotion at Sri Lanka Tea Board.

From a small base of less than 1 million kg 50 years ago, Sri Lanka is exporting over 7 million kg of Ceylon tea to China per year and the volume isexpanding quickly.

This owes much to the changing habits of Chinese tea drinkers. Unlike the traditional Chinese who tend to drink green tea, many from the younger generation prefer black tea with milk and sugar, a novel occurrence in this green-tea- drinking nation.

Hasitha said Sri Lanka is seeking to penetrate into the Chinese market, with three target segments already clarified: the young generation, women, and middle- and upper-income groups.

Navin Dissanayake, the Minister of Plantation Industries in Sri Lanka, led a delegation to participate in the Ceylon Tea evening.

According to Dissanayake, approximately 25 percent of Sri Lanka's black tea is exported to China. Though a specific target has not been set, he wished Sri Lanka could double exports to China in three to five years.

The event was part of a larger public relations program launched by the Sri Lanka Tea Board and the Sri Lankan Embassy under a global campaign for "Ceylon Tea" to reemphasize its preeminence for quality orthodox black tea.

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