I’ve been too busy to blog lately as I volunteered as a technical helper at Guelph’s Festival of Moving Media (which used to be called GIFF or Guelph International Film Festival). This festival has been running, off and on, since the early 80′s (read more in this article).
All in this Tea (produced by Les Blank and Gina Leibrecht of Flower Films) is a wonderful insight into the world of tea. I’ve been drinking a lot of wonderful green tea lately (Dragon Well – Zhejiang) brought directly from China by a friend and his family. My friend even has me drinking the tea in a traditional way (no tea bags, with the leaves in the cup). But this film centres around tea that is even more traditional. Tea produced in a centuries old style: organically and dried using woks or the sun or other methods depending on the tea.
The film is timely since a great renaissance for tea drinking is happening right now. In North America, for example, the population of coffee drinkers is decreasing and the numbers of those seeking tea are increasing.
Growing tea is a great skill and China is learning, through tea traders and appreciators like David Lee Hoffman from California, that handmade teas as opposed to factory-made teas are gaining more of a market in the west. This artisanal tea production by farmers and tea masters is done without chemicals. Hoffman tells us, in the documentary, that mass produced teas can be bland and contain harsh chemical taints.
I very much enjoyed this film and look forward to a time when I can buy handmade teas here in Canada.