Maksim Ruban is a 25-year-old Russian entrepreneur who runs a tea business in St. Petersburg. His company regularly imports tea from China, selling about three tonnes of tea every month across Russia and other European countries through both offline and online channels. As local farmers usher in their annual tea-picking season, Ruban visits a tea plantation in Qimen County, East China’s Anhui province to scrutinize the collected fresh tea leaves.
Ruban’s fascination with Chinese culture began at an early age when he watched relevant programs on television. His interest has since turned into an obsession with the profound Chinese tea culture. At the age of 19, he started his own tea company, specializing in selling tea and teaware.
To find suitable tea flavors for Russians and more trading partners, the young man began to travel between Russia and China almost every year. This year, he visited multiple Chinese cities with his wife, Daria Ruban. Ruban’s company focuses on sourcing high-quality tea from China, which is then packaged and sold under his brand in Russia and other European countries.
During his visit to the tea plantation in Qimen County, Ruban inspects the freshly picked tea leaves and discusses tea production with local farmers. He believes that the key to his business success lies in understanding the intricacies of Chinese tea culture, and thus, he keeps visiting different tea regions in China to explore the unique tea flavors.
Ruban’s company has been growing rapidly in recent years, thanks to his dedication to delivering the finest quality tea to his customers. He believes that tea is not just a beverage but a symbol of culture, and his mission is to promote Chinese tea culture to the world.
Through his frequent travels to China, Ruban has established a strong network of tea suppliers, and he works closely with them to ensure that his customers receive the best quality tea. He also collaborates with Chinese tea experts to develop new tea blends that cater to the taste of his customers.
Ruban’s business has not been immune to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, he has adapted to the changing market conditions by strengthening his online sales channels and expanding his product portfolio to include other types of tea-related products such as tea sets, tea cups, and teapots.
Despite the challenges, Ruban remains optimistic about the future of his business. He believes that the demand for high-quality tea will continue to grow, and he is committed to providing his customers with the best tea experience possible.
In conclusion, Maksim Ruban’s passion for Chinese tea culture has led him to establish a successful tea business in Russia. His dedication to sourcing high-quality tea from China and promoting Chinese tea culture to the world has made him a respected figure in the industry. His frequent visits to China and close collaborations with Chinese tea experts have helped him to develop new tea blends that cater to the taste of his customers. Through his business, Ruban is not only providing his customers with the finest tea but also helping to bridge the gap between Chinese and Russian tea cultures.
The couple was invited by Wang Jing, president of Anhui’s chamber of commerce in St. Petersburg, to visit the Anhui Keemun Black Tea Development Co., Ltd. During their visit, they explored the local showroom, production workshop, and tea plantation, and even picked some tea leaves. Daria Ruban expressed her admiration for the fresh leaves’ delightful aroma, while Maksim Ruban was fascinated by the complex manufacturing procedures involved in producing the ancient Keemun black tea. An inheritor of ancient Keemun black-tea producing crafts also showed them the rigorous standards involved in the manufacturing process.
Maksim Ruban noted that the local company had customized diversified products for its consumers, which he found to be an excellent learning opportunity. On April 2, during the local Keemun black-tea picking festival, Maksim Ruban signed an agreement with the local tea producer, formalizing their initial cooperation intention.
Despite it being his first trip to Qimen, Maksim Ruban was deeply impressed by the county’s picturesque ecological environment and top-quality tea leaves. He described Keemun black tea as presenting an attractive infusion with an exquisite fragrance and a sweet aftertaste. His company typically sold Pu’er tea, a deep-brewed tea with a sweet aroma from Southwest China’s Yunnan province, but after this visit, he decided to introduce Keemun black tea to his family, friends, and more Russian customers.
Maksim Ruban noted that while many Russians enjoy coffee and milk tea, there is a growing interest in Chinese tea. The couple’s tea journey has deep roots in the long history of tea trade between China and Russia, where an ancient tea road linked China’s Wuyi Mountains and Russia’s St. Petersburg. Anhui is also along this trade route, and the couple hopes to promote Chinese tea culture while conducting tea trade.
They took photographs during their trip and shared them on social media platforms, hoping to inspire more young Russians to fall in love with the exotic taste of Chinese tea, just like they did.