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China's first institute for tea study to open next year


08:58, November 14, 2011

XIAMEN - Construction of China's first higher-education institute for tea study kicked off in Anxi, hometown of Chinese oolong tea, on Saturday, with authorities aiming to have it ready to welcome students from autumn of 2012.

The college, in China's eastern Fujian province, will offer undergraduate courses for tea study majors under Fujian Agriculture and Forestry University.

Lan Siren, rector of the university, said Chinese tea firms are in dire need of elite sales, management and business development talents. The college will cope with the demand.

He said over half of the 500 million-yuan ($78 million) investment for building the institute came in donations from Anxi-born Chinese.

The county produces around 45,000 tonnes of tea leaves each year, or one third of the mainland's total oolong tea production. Tieguanyin, the best oolong tea variety produced in Anxi, is among the the most popular Chinese farm brands with foreigners.

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