All In This Tea NR

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(34) IMDb 7.2/10
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A feature documentary by the acclaimed documentarian Les Blank, in collaboration with filmmaker Gina Leibrecht, that follows the world-renowned American tea importer, David Lee Hoffman, to some of the most remote regions of China in search of the finest handmade teas in the world.

Starring:
David Lee Hoffman, Song Diefeng
Runtime:
1 hour, 10 minutes

Available to watch on supported devices.

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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Director Les Blank, Gina Leibrecht
Starring David Lee Hoffman, Song Diefeng
Supporting actors Werner Herzog, Angela Justice, Gaetano Kazuo Maida, James Norwood Pratt, Winnie W. Yu
Studio Flower Films
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Rental rights 7-day viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Sheri Fogarty VINE VOICE on May 23, 2009
Format: DVD
All in This Tea is about tea importer, David Lee Hoffman. He spent a decade during his twenties traveling around Asia and developed a love of good tea. The documentary follows his travels in China as he tries to encourage the farmers to give up their recent addition of chemical farming and go back to the traditional and organic methods of growing tea. Those methods were lost once the Cultural Revolution arrived, as the farmers started growing for quantity over quality. As is happening on our farms here -- after the initial boost in crops you get from chemical fertilizers, crop production lessens, and soil quality depletes.

As he tries to describe more natural fertilizers to the Chinese officials, David discusses earthworms, and worm castings (droppings), which are one the most wonderful fertilizers available today. We use them in our garden and whenever we put fresh castings on, everything has a wonderful growth spurt. I was happy to see worms and organic methods discussed as we are trying to encourage our farmers here in the U.S. to move away from chemical fertilizer too.

As he winds his way through China's tea bureaucracy, he found that the companies don't want to deal directly with the farmers, including those craftsmen who produce the finest teas. Mr. Hoffman decides to travel through the country finding exactly the teas he prefers, buying them directly from the farmers and then he had to deal with the red tape of getting them shipped to the U.S. There's also small segments with different people teaching classes about tea and it's history, that's very interesting.

David succeeded on his mission of encouraging more organic tea farming, and buying directly from farmers. It was inspiring to see how much change could be brought; by one determined man.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Richard R. Powell on August 18, 2009
Format: DVD
The development of a taste for tea progresses in some ways like developing a taste for wine. When all you have ever tasted is "baby duck" there isn't much incentive to try high end wines, and when all you have tasted is Tetley orange pekoe, a hand made artisan tea from a remote district of China does not fire your imagination. But once you get a taste of something a little finer, you start to be curious, and little by little you progress, following your nose and taste buds into the deep aromatic bliss of the quality grades. That progress is exciting, and this movie captures the feeling of that progress, of a world of sensual experience opening up before you.

This movie also accurately captures the infectious enthusiasm that David Hoffman (founder of Silk Road Teas) has for the drink, but also the poetry, culture, and ritual that surrounds the growing, aging, and consumption of the lovely liquor. I have been developing my own palette for tea over the last 5 or 6 years and the pure joy I feel upon smelling and then tasting a high quality tea prepared me to relish this film in ways that might not be possible to the casual viewer. Watching David "shop" for tea in the rural streets and urban tea warehouses is like watching a good cooking show, you get hungry while you watch. With this movie, you long to be able to stick your own nose in the big bags of tea David smells and sip along with the tasters assembled at his tasting parties.

And I have to say the camera work is excellent, as is the editing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. A. Vitale on December 21, 2008
Format: Amazon Instant Video
Just finished watching this documentary on my cable channel. It is all about one man's quest, that of David Lee Hoffman, to bring the best quality organic tea from China to the United States.

Mr. Hoffman became interested in teas in the 1960s, while traveling through Asia. We learn how he becomes interested in tea as well as about the history of growing teas and different kinds/varieties of teas out there.

This is a fascinating program to watch.... Especially if you are a tea lover and also of you are into organic farming and consuming organic products.
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Format: DVD
Co-directors Les Blank and Gina Leibrecht present All In This Tea, the true-life documentary of one man's struggle to make the increasingly modernized nation of China aware of the value of its ancient tea-making crafts. American tea importer David Lee Hoffman has traveled to meet Tibetan monks in Nepal (and befriended the Dalai Lama), and coped with complicated Chinese business codes as well as language barriers in his efforts. His mission to convince the Chinese themselves that their traditional tea making crafts produce better tea than any factory, and that the ways of ancient tea makers should be remembered and preserved, makes for a fascinating saga of the importance of remembering one's roots no matter how drastically the world changes. Highly recommended. 70 minutes, closed captioned.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Barrett TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 31, 2012
Format: Amazon Instant Video
I must add another positive review for this amazing documentary. This is not only an educational documentary about tea, it is a man's quest to encourage organic, fair trade, and honest farming practices in China. We learn about the production of and enjoyment of Chinese tea. We also learn that there is a large dichotomy between the government run tea mega-farms and the impoverished, small scale rural tea farmers. Often the impoverished farmers are those producing the best tea that is free from chemicals and pesticides.

Though the narrator tends to smile and show his enthusiasm, he is relentless and bringing the Chinese government officials to task. I thoroughly enjoyed this documentary, and it made me look at Chinese tea in a new light. I now avoid the mass marketed tea 'brands' and instead focus on quality tea from Peet's, Stash, and Tao of Tea. It's really interesting to note that not all tea is created equal - even those of the same name and style!

The one thing I will say, the narrator is in love with Pu-erh tea and his enthusiasm shows, to the point where it is often all he talks about when not with the farmers. I do love Pu-erh tea, but it's kind of a love it or hate it thing, so some people may not be interested in all the Pu-erh love.
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