I didn’t get a taste of high quality, single origin, loose leaf tea until I was travelling at 16 and stumbled across a beautiful Asian-style tea house. The owner introduced me to green teas from China and Japan. They tasted and felt so good – rich, naturally pure and accessible. There was no going back.
A few years later, I got to travel around China. I was looking for an ancient culture that was still living. At that time, travelling around the country was difficult and I couldn’t find anything beyond the obvious tourist traps. Slowly I began to see the ancient culture that existed in people and their everyday things: conversation, food, medicine and tea.
In China, teas are often handpicked and hand-processed by a single farming family that has lived on the same land for generations. Discovering this was huge for me: I could enjoy something delicious, made with respect for craftsmanship, culture, environment and good health.
I fell in love with Asia and its teas. After China, I visited Japan and Taiwan, then India and Sri Lanka – each time finding unique tea cultures that were true to generations of producers. As I went, I began to build a picture of JING: a range of single garden teas, produced by masters, stored well and served effortlessly.