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The Scent of Yunnan Tea Spreads Far and Wide

"Yunnan is the first thought when people talk about Pu'er," said Wu Yuanzhi, president of Taetea Group of Kunming, Yunnan province. "It's a gift from God."

Wu's words not only focus on the unique scent of Pu'er, but on the industry that has created the increasingly popular Chinese tea.

Years ago, few people knew about Pu'er, but now it has become a necessity for many tea houses in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong. The vast demand has also improved the living standards of farmers in Yunnan.

In 2016, the tea planting area in the the province totaled 6.1 million mu (406,667 hectares), with a production of 37.5 metric tons and output value reaching 67 billion yuan ($9.82 billion).

"Luxuries are not determined only by the price, but by the perceptions of one's taste. If you are willing to spend time and money on it, it will become a luxury. Pu'er is this kind of thing and we hope to develop Pu'er into a typical Chinese luxury," Wu explained.

Currently, more than 170 tea enterprises in Yunnan achieve over 10 million yuan in output value, 24 of which net over 100 million yuan. Wu's company reaches 2 billion yuan annually.

As a benchmark enterprise for the Chinese tea industry, Taetea is gearing up to expand its market overseas, trying to connect Chinese traditional tea culture with foreign customers.

Established in 1940, the company has set up subsidiaries in South Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and Taiwan. The Taetea Garden Tea House, sponsored by the company, is gaining more popularity in the market.

"We will develop this kind of tea house around the world, creating a brand," said Wu.