James Norwood Pratt


My Chinese tea teacher, that crafty Taoist priest Roy Fong, always says tea is the product of heaven, earth and man coming together in harmony. Heaven is the climate, right down to the weather and winds during the short life of the leaf on the bush. Heaven is everything above the surface of the soil. Earth is the soil itself, the terroir from which the tea springs, each district with fresh particularities of difference. It is Man, the human factor, who combines these aspects of Heaven and Earth into Tea.

This Human Factor is what we find in Amita Virmani’s portraits of Tea People.

Besides everything else, a great deal of Care goes into every sip of tea and the Care is theirs. They are heirs to a pre-historic craft and alive as you and me today. But are we as full of hard-won tender Care?

Kevin Gascoyne


“The leaf of this humble Asian tree strengthens our systems and balances our processes, enhances our days with soothing and stimulation, and improves our lives through cure and invigoration. From the garden to the cup: the cultivator to the drinker, a cross-cultural world of tea-folk share this exceptional state of well-being.

Amita Virmani’s Tea Afficionados Project is an extensive and on-going series of interviews with tea people from all over the globe.  Through the words of planters, tasters, bloggers, brokers and more she explores the many facets and fascinating dynamics of tea in the modern world ”

Kevin Gascoyne

Tea Taster

Camelia Sinensis, Montreal