The Dying Art of Tea

The foodie film I’m most interested in seeing is All in This Tea, a documentary about David Lee Hoffman, the American tea expert and importer who for years has been searching out the best handmade teas in the world. These days such teas are a dying art, as mass-produced teas take over and the ways of the tea artisans disappear.

As Hoffman explains in the film:

Most Americans will never experience teas like this. I’m predicting that in two years, farmers like this will be out looking for another job. The person who made this tea is highly skilled. Highly skilled. Unless someone discovers him very soon, he’s going to be gone.

The film premiered recently at the San Francisco International Film Festival, and a clip is currently featured at online film library Jaman. According to one commenter, “[T]his is the coolest foodie film I’ve seen this year! I feel so ashamed drinking tea from the bag now. ... [T]his film covered so many interesting topics … related to the tea business in China—economics, politics, distrust of the west, new trust of the west, organic farming….impressive.”

The film is not yet available for order, but I can’t wait to get my hands on it—to watch with a nice cup of artisanal, handcrafted, soon-to-disappear tea, of course.

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