Remote working arrangements have led more people to drink tea, social distancing has caused a bottleneck in tea production, rapidly changing weather conditions have made harvest of tea difficult. Presenting a trifecta of issues plaguing the tea farming industry. What is this causing? Should you buy in bulk?
Wholesale tea leaf sales increased by 50% in March 2020, this has made bottled concentrate tea leaf and bagged tea more expensive by 10% and 2%, respectively. Ready-to-drink tea sales have been stable so far. More people brewing tea at home could mean higher prices in the future.
In India, the 4th largest producer in the world, the implementation of social distancing has made it harder for workers to pick the tea. Closing ports to clamp down on virus spread only exacerbates efforts. Production fell 22%during the first 7 months of 2020. Sri Lanka, the 3rd largest producer in the world is going through a drought that caused a 15% drop in production.
It should be noted, however, that these two countries produce mostly black tea. So, if you love chai and the sort… beware. If you are into the oolong, green, pu-erh, white and yellow. Next time you grab a cup of tea, think of all that work people had to do to get it into our favorite cup. Cheers!