Man from Taiwan finds his cup of tea in Fujian
Chen Yunchia (middle) runs tea plantation in Zhangping, Fujian province. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
Chen Yunchia, 38, shared his family's tea story during the 10th Straits Youth Day, which was held recently in Fuzhou, Fujian province.
"I want to integrate my grandfather's calligraphy, my father's tea ceremony and my management idea to provide better tea products to our customers," Chen said.
Chen, who was born in Taiwan and grew up there, is now running a tea plantation on the Chinese mainland — Yueshan Tea Estate — in Zhangping, Longyan.
He still remembers the scene when his grandfather, Chen Yueshan, a well-known calligrapher, took him home to visit relatives.
"Grandpa told me with his actions that people cannot forget their roots," said Chen, "I also saw him donating money to repair ancestral halls, start schools and set up scholarships."
Encouraged by his grandfather, Chen's father, Chen Hsienchih, returned to the hometown in 2005 and invested in building a tea plantation covering an area of more than 40 hectares.
When Chen visited his father in 2015, he was deeply moved by the environment and people. He quit his job with a high-tech enterprise in Taiwan and settled down on his father's tea plantation.
Breaking with the traditional tea planting and selling mode of previous generations, Chen has taken up a more fashionable approach. At the beginning, the father and the son had some skirmishes over it.
"My father used pesticides, but I insist on not using them. I want to make natural, healthy tea," Chen said.
"The output was only one-tenth of what it had been, and the price increased accordingly. He was afraid that the higher price might drive away our regular customers."
Now, Chen's tea is in short supply and sales have hit a record high.
In 2017, Chen launched a new tea brand. He also converted the tea plantation into a sightseeing destination with accommodations to attract more tourists from both sides of the Straits. They come to learn tea culture.
"Thanks to the favorable measures supporting the development of Taiwan-funded enterprises, I benefited from low-interest loan," Chen said. "We're lucky to be hitching a ride on rural revitalization on the mainland."