CHINA: The Fool Day: From the Rumor of Starbucks' ProPosition Coffee to the Chinese Tea Tasters, Wine Drinkers and Coffee Addicts

作者: Jan        来源: 《酒典》|原创作品 谢绝转载


Yesterday was April 1, the Fool Day. In China there came a piece of big news in WeChat, other social medias and websites that Starbucks’ coffee contained <ProPosition 65> which could lead to cancer. Half of the coffee addicts laughed: Today is the fool day. Half of the coffee addicts looked at the coffee in front of them and thought: So I am under suicide?

Even though later there came another piece of news that the above news was just rumor from another country, however, the coffee addicts did really experience a fool day. With the common use of internet, websites and social medias can spread information and news easily. In order to catch people’s eyeballs and attract more people’s reading, some websites and social medias post horrible, scared, exaggerated, unreal news which later will be marked as rumor… So yesterday was really a fool day.

Actually China is still a big country of tea tasters. However, Chinese are very open to the new things, so more and more Chinese drink coffee and wine.

The white collars in the office like to drink coffee. Office work is tired and boring; maybe a cup of coffee could help them refresh themselves. Some young people like to drink coffee too, maybe it looks quite fashionable. Of course coffee with sugar is delicious. People like their flavor with sugar. However, it still can not become a trend.

Working in the wine world, people I meet all drink wines. They are selling wine, doing wine education, promoting wine cultures… It seems all Chinese drink wine. However, it is not that all Chinese drink wines. It is just that in the wine working area, all the people I meet drink wine. But out of this working area, people do not drink wine too often.

What do they drink? Of course tea. Go to a restaurant in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening, at night, and have a look. On the table everybody has a cup of tea. People eat meat, vegetable, fruits, and drink a lot of tea, cup by cup, endless.

Maybe they know nothing about tea, like me. But they drink a lot of tea, like me. We don't know how tea is made, how many varieties, the differences of flavor, we don't need to; but we drink a lot.

Young people like to learn new things, so they go to learn wine in some wine schools. That is why the wine education is blooming in China. Yes, they learn wine and know how wine is made, how many types, the difference of flavor in the class, but out of the class they don’t often drink wine. Maybe they drink wine in some working areas or some social meetings, but not in daily life on the whole.

Some people say what a pity that the Chinese spirit can not become a kind of culture, to pass down generation to generation, to become an education to educate other people, like wine. However, in my opinion, if something is deep in people’s heart, soul, spirit, and their daily life and habit, it doesn't need to become a kind of culture. Chinese spirit has rooted in China thousands of years, and still dominates China market; compared to it, wine just shares a little part.

French castles are so famous in China that it makes French wine famous with Chateau too. So when Chinese talk about castle, we think about French wine. When Chinese talk about French wine, we think about castle. However, when I visited Italy, I also found many castles, known as Castello. I said to one Italian:”I didn't know in Italy there are so many castles! Because in China we only know there are many castles in France!” The Italian laughed and said: “The Italian castles are so many, so common that we even don't think they are special or use them as a way of marketing!”

So coming back to the point: the tea is so deep in our daily life, that we even don't think it is special or need to learn before drink.

That is exactly the problem of wine. Many wine educators dig a lot of gold from giving wine education to consumers. Many wine education centers set up all around China. To some extent, it helps spread wine culture; but to another extent, it also makes people think they need to learn wine before drink it. 

You teach them to swirl the glass before drink, to drink certain wine in certain glass and certain temperature, to pair certain wine with certain food… But actually they just want to drink. If too troublesome, they will go for other simple drink. After all, wine is just a drink in our daily life, and we are so busy in this world. Too much serious wine education could be a double-edged sword.

But if you are not going to work in wine area, you don't need to learn it so seriously, just drink it, enjoy it and know it by drinking in leisure time.. Like tea.

Recently the Chinese spirit is a little down, and wine goes up, because it is encouraged in China. It uses a lot of food to make Chinese spirit and these food could feed many people, so wine is encouraged. Also in the north west of China, there are many deserts which could not grow food, so it is encouraged to grow vineyards and build wineries, to protect the environment and help economic developing and improve people’s life standard. So wine is encouraged.

So wine, tea and coffee, now it is an era of the collision on the Chinese palates, an era of the meeting in China from different parts of the world.