An employee packs boxes of tea at the production line at Taylors of Harrogate's tea packaging facilities in Harrogate, England, Tuesday Aug. (AP Photo / Leonora Beck)
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China and Hong Kong in particular are seeing a surge in appetite for British tea blends, some of which are made with leaves from China itself, an example of the twists in trade that the globalization of tastes can create.Tea houses serving British afternoon tea have sprouted up in the bigger cities in China."It fits the taste of people who want to pursue a higher quality of life," says Li Qunlou, general manager at AnnVita English Tea House in Sanlitun in Beijing.As a result, British tea companies selling premium blends have seen their exports to China and Hong Kong skyrocket.Shipments to China and Hong Kong only make up 7 percent of total British tea exports, but the share is growing quickly.These few years, because of the popular British TV dramas, Chinese consumers are more exposed to British brands and the lifestyle," says Hope Lee, senior drinks analyst at Euromonitor International.Imported premium British tea brands are perceived as being safer and of higher quality.Paradoxically, some of the British tea sold in China and Hong Kong is originally grown in China.
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