"As a first generation American, it is only natural that I draw inspiration from my Chinese heritage."
In my culture, tea is a rite of passage. Drinking tea unites the family, eases the flow of conversation, and allows us to pay respect to our heritage. One of my fondest memories from childhood is watching my grandmother prepare tea for our family. The entire process of serving tea is a ritual passed down to children. I observed my grandmother’s every move with inquisitive wonder. The filling of the clay pot, bringing the water to boil, washing the leaves and serving the tea each hold a purpose in a delicate ritual process.
Long before being consumed as a beverage, tea leaves were being used in traditional Chinese medicine for their array of health benefits and healing properties. Today, those same leaves are grown, harvested and shipped all over the world.
Before I began my journey with Leafy Green, I worked as a sourcing consultant importing products from other countries. In my tenure, I came to learn that the corporate approach to importing goods aimed to obtain the largest quantity of a good for the lowest amount of money. In this practice of undercutting the bottom line, I learned that the workers producing the goods were being exploited to work harder for essentially less money.
I will never forget the day that I learned the reality of the situation that I was in. I had traveled to consult with a factory in Asia. While walking through the facility, I noticed a young boy sitting on a small stool that sat not far from the ground. He was hunching over and placing magnets into the frame of a sign. The work that this boy was doing was something that he had to do for twelve or more hours a day, five to six days a week. I looked at this boy and I saw my younger brother and I knew that this would be my last trip.
After meditating on my next move, I reminisced those fond memories of my grandmother serving tea. I steeped in that warm ritual of bringing the family together with ease and I knew in my heart that I needed to bring the healing ritual of tea to as many people as I could and I began applying my sourcing skills to importing teas.
While I moved forward to go into business for myself, I knew that I needed to ensure that I could provide the highest quality of leaves, but that I also needed to build and maintain fair and equitable relationships with the growers that I source from.
As the founder of Leafy Green, I work directly with single estate farms to ensure that we know our source, the conditions that our leaves grow under, the quality of the leaves and that we stimulate the livelihood of our growers and their communities. I take pride in providing the highest quality of teas while exercising social responsibility. We look forward to serving everyone, and taking you all on this journey with us!