Tea, like wine, can be good investment
Next time you want to diversify your investments, buy tea. Yes, a form of tea that comes from southwest China.
Called pu'erh, or pu'er tea or Bolay, this fermented tea can be taken right after pit is produced or after it has been aged, sometimes for as many as 50 years or longer.
Connoisseurs of this traditional chinese tea found that many ethnic chinese in Malaysia had stored pu'erh tea in their houses, and collectors from as far away as China and Hong Kong had come to realise that this tea was worth a lot.
In 2007, the bubble burst because collectors had chased up prices.
Not unlike fine wine, Pu’er tea improves with age and is believed to have medicinal value, especially those over 50 years old. Investors in southern China and Hong Kong have come to realise that with the limited amount of tea grown each year, prices can be manipulated by storing rather than selling it.
“There are two types of Pu’er: raw and ripe. Raw tea is normally left to ferment and mature naturally and this is the best type for ageing. Different aromas are obtained from different aged teas and, for this, people are willing to pay handsome prices,” explains tea merchant Wayne Thong, 28, from Cheer Ascent.