The silver lining COVID 19 for the tea industry
Is it too much to suppose that there will be a silver lining to the current pandemic, sweeping the Globe?
Personally, I don't think so; there have been many uplifting examples of generosity, community spirit, cleaner air and, of course, selfless heroism, from those in essential services. Those examples should be enough for us all and I hope that we value and nurture these "benefits" long after the virus has been brought under a modicum of control. So what about tea?
Well, for one, we are sitting at home, our sense of "normal" scattered to God know's where as we imitate life through social media and from our rooftops and balconies. A strange new normal where everything is different but much is the same, particularly when it comes to our tea drinking habits. It is, after all, an at home, comforting beverage, taken anyway you please and open to experimentation, hot, cold or as a culinary je nec'est quoi and, now you have the time....what new way can you dream up of taking/using tea (let me know by the way, you can send me a message on my website contact page). And while you sit and sip that cup of comfort, have we really given a lot of thought to the health benefits of tea, it's powerful antioxidant capacity or the L-Theanine companion to caffeine which enables concentration, pleasantly? If not, is this not the perfect time to consider what you pour down your throat, examine how it tastes, how it refreshes, how it makes you feel and how it interacts with your body? I think so; especially as I struggle with an exercise regimen within 4 walls!
OK, so hopefully, I have you thinking more about tea. Now, what about the people that make that tea; thousands of miles away, a laborious harvest in, often, hot and humid conditions plucking the two leaves and a bud that is transformed, magically, into black, Oolong, Green, Yellow, White and a myriad of other tea types? Well, these people are, likely, much poorer than you, have poorer nutritional scores than you and have no access to funds should work stop( Just to be clear, this is a tea blog so I am talking tea workers here but 70% of the World's population live like this or worse) and you should feel good about supporting them, through the purchase of teas and other commodities, without which their lot in life would be a lot worse. So, where is the silver lining for these good people? I say it is in the fact that their crop is in demand during this unprecedented event and they can, work the fields and maintain social distancing and keep their Families fed and sheltered because of our continual steepings!
As and when we emerge from our cocoons, at the end of this event, ready to spread our wings and get going again, let's pause lest we leave all the good things we have experienced behind including why we drank tea during the meanest of times, how it revived, refreshed, calmed and brought sustenance to other Families, a world away but somehow closer for the common threat we have all had to face.