Today's blog is one that is surprisingly selfish...one of my favorite tea stores, Eco-Cha just started an Indiegogo Campaign called Promote Sustainability - Get Great Tea, and I very much so want it to succeed. This is just not because I want the perk I am backing (I used almost all my vacation money on the Brew In Style perk, and I have no regrets) or because they are a much loved store...no, I want them to succeed because their campaign is amazing.
There is tea that is enjoyable, that tantalizes the senses, and there is tea that is art, that soothes the soul and takes you on an unforgettable journey with each sip. Every tea I have had from Eco-Cha has fallen into the art category. Their teas are not just a wonderful sensory experience, they are also all about small scale, organic, traditional tea farming practices. They have a relationship with the farmers and tea artisans, and I feel this truly shows in the tea.
Let me introduce to you Mr. Lin, he has been in the tea industry for 30 years, like many people in any industry he started small, making oolong in his hometown (ok not everyone does the oolong step) and then moved to making the more financially beneficial factory setting in the high mountains. He is now returning to his family lands to build a certified organic tea farm, this will allow him to use his experience to make tea more in line with his values.
Eco-Cha's goal is to purchase the entire winter harvest produced by Mr. Lin. This will allow the tea to be on a larger more global market, rather than being mostly distributed locally and through various stores. This will show that it is possible to have small, sustainable, organic farms and that large factory productions are not necessary. Not only is this good for the environment, it also preserves tradition and artistry.
I certainly suggest visiting the campaign page and watching the video, Taiwan is a beautiful country and watching the production of tea is fascinating. By supporting the campaign you can get some pretty awesome loot and a truly unique tea. Whether or not you are supporting it for the chance to try a new tea or because you believe in the cause, you can be sure it will be worth your time and money. I hope to see you all in December when the tea arrives, you can be certain it will be making an appearance on my blog.
*Photos provided by Eco-Cha, sadly I was unable to travel to Taiwan to photograph the farm myself*