Lucky to be in the tea business

The Summer Solstice Witch before she was burnt for luck

Since the middle of May I have been on the road, traveling in China, the US, and Europe, and for Zhuping it was three months in China. Finally we are enjoying our sanctuary in Tucson, with a lot of welcome home-cooked meals. 2013 thus far has found me out of the personal comfort of my home and warehouse, standing in front of groups of tea professions and enthusiasts, talking about tea and China, agricultural models, economics, supply chains, sustainability, transparency, and how all of that relates to the future of the very complicated tea market. But for me it has been a very moving experience to meet and get to some many tea people, coming from so many varied place, all deeply impassioned in their love for tea. This experience in some ways rose to an almost spiritual level and left me feeling very happy. What was great was that I had an opportunity to meet such a broad range of people in the industry from China to Africa to Indonesia to Turkey to India and Sri Lanka, and small and large businesses, commodity and specialty tea, and though we disagreed on many things, we all loved tea and want to improve the tea industry, and all felt it was possible to make things a lot better on every level of the industry. I also talked with tea sommeliers, bloggers, magazine and book writers, and educators all that were very motivated to raise the bar. I talked to people that belonged to the Ethical Tea Partnership and the Rain Forest Alliance, the people that were actually doing the work on the ground, all dedicated people. I got to talk with consumers from Canada to Denmark. I was treated with great hospitality wherever I went and got to do a lot of laughing. I am lucky to be in the tea business. This is a great business and by all that I have seen, it will be getting even better. I definitely need to get out more often.