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'Fresh' Longjing Tea not fresh

0 CommentsPrint E-mail CNTV, March 23, 2011
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There's just three days until market shelves are to be loaded up with fresh Longjing tea and some shops are already selling the tea, renowned for its high quality. But insiders say the early-bird vendors are actually selling last year's supplies.

Many tea shops in Hangzhou claim to be selling this year's batch of Longjing tea.

"Don't worry, this is definitely this year's new tea. "

But, after being asked to double check, the saleswoman suddenly changes her story.

One saleswoman said "This is actually last year's tea. We stored them in a refrigerator and stir-fried it to be sold as fresh tea."

Fresh tea is also not available in the tea garden. In Longjing village, a farmer claims his tea is freshly picked.

One saleswoman said "Our tea is 76 thousand yuan per kilo. But don't worry, we just picked it from the outside tea garden. It's definitely new."

However, a tea farmer in the garden says, so-called tea farmers are actually salespeople. And the sky-high prices aren't fresh either.

One tea farmer said "We haven't started picking yet. The tea needs more time to grow."

Officials suggest buyers use an anti-fake label system to prevent the selling of fake fresh Longjing Tea.

Shang Jiannong, Longjing Tea Industry Association said "The Longjing tea anti-fake label system is a method to fight fake Longjing tea sales that began in 2001. The label is changed annually. And this year's label won't be on the market until the fresh tea is picked."

Shang also says the government will step up efforts to fight fake tea sales nationwide.


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