Changsha county hails the start of tea season
Changsha county is ready to collect its first batch of tea for the year with workers busying themselves in the fields to have the region's famed product in markets before the end of March.
The county boasts a large number of tea fields with a total area in excess of 6,400 hectares. This year's harvest is ahead of schedule due to high rainfall and warmer than usual temperatures.
"As long as we have no problem with frost, the tea yield is expected to increase by five to 10 percent compared to last year," said one official at the county's agriculture department.
The timing for tea picking is extremely crucial and the local tea plants dispatch the vast majority of workers out into the fields.
Tea pickers work their way through Jinjing's lush tea fields in Changsha county on March 8. Leaves are being picked earlier than usual this year on account of warmer temperatures. [Photo/csxnews.com]
"After picking, workers will process the leaves using traditional withering and rolling techniques," said Zhou Yu, general manager of Jinjing Tea Co based in Jinjing town.
"The price for tea leaves ranges from 1,800 yuan ($261) to 3,600 yuan per kilogram. It can also reach more than 10,000 per kilogram for best quality tea," said Zhou.
In addition to selling tea leaves, local tea companies have expanded business portfolios through opening tea parks and giving visitors the chance to experience the tea process themselves. It is hoped this will cultivate in visitors a deeper appreciation for tea.
Visitors pick tea leaves at a park in Changsha county. The activity is part of local initiatives hoping to broaden the engagement of visitors with local tea companies and provide additional revenue. [Photo/csxnews.com]