Meet The Tea Master
If you have any interest or appreciation for tea at all, you can’t miss the West China Tea booth this Sunday. Yesterday, I had the opportunity to enjoy a cup of tea with the founder So-han Fan, and I was beyond impressed. Seriously, he knows everything about tea, particularly Chinese tea.
So-han – though born in New Orleans and raised in Houston – has Chinese roots and speaks it fluently. So, when he traveled to China for the first time in 2010 to study fresh water biology, he was able to build strong and lasting relationships with Chinese farmers.
“On weekends we would go out and meet farmers and share tea with them. In China, business practice is a lot different than here in the U.S. Here, you set a meeting, argue figures or stats, and formally ask about a business future. But in China, you don’t ‘do business’. You make friends and then friends help each other out. In Chinese, this is called building Guangxi and without it, you won’t have a strong or trusting business relationship”.
Literally hundreds, if not thousands of cups of tea later, So-han was able to handpick the finest teas from the most remote corners of China. And, because he was so excited and willing to get to know so many Chinese farmers (sometimes hitchhiking to reach them), he has all these crazy connections that no other tea dealer has.
Although So-han’s trips to China ignited his business West China Tea Company, he had actually been a tea connoisseur for over seven years before that. His obsession started in college and has only grown and expanded since.
But now more about the tea itself…
All of West China Tea Company’s teas are strictly farm direct. That means you have a 100% guarantee that your product is natural, non-GMO, and free of pesticides. Being farm direct also affects the taste. So-han compares his tea to the specialized flavor of a single malt scotch. Both have a unique and concentrated taste defined by the unique location the drink is from.
The health benefits of tea are essentially infinite. Literally ANY symptom you may have has a tea that can help. If you’re curious about what types of teas could benefit your personal needs, stop by the market and So-han will hook you up. As a biologist, he is always sure not to make any health claims that haven’t been backed up by western science as well.
In fact, So-han has a running study with Mr. Natural in which he observes the drop in blood sugar in diabetics after drinking a pot of West China Tea. Results show that levels dropped for 2/3 of all participants and every participant decided to purchase some tea for themselves. Eventually, one man told So-han that because of his tea, he was able to stop taking insulin altogether. That’s pretty badass if you ask me.
So, to sum this up: if you enjoy tea, if you want to improve your health, or if you want to hear a good travel story, go visit So-han at West China Tea Company at the HOPE Farmer’s Market from 11:00 – 3:00 every Sunday! Also, check out his links below to learn more!
I’m Brooke, the author of the blog you’ve just read. Working with the HOPE Farmer’s Market has been so great, but unfortunately I will have to leave HOPE to finish my last semester at Baylor University this fall. I will graduate with a major in political science and a minor in poverty studies and social justice. When I’m not blogging, my days are full of studying for the GRE and applications. I know I’m super exciting this summer, right? But every blog, I’ll let you guys know something a bit more interesting about myself and this week’s fact is:
I once swung my feet off of 300ft cliffs that delved into the Atlantic. It was great.