Monday, August 31, 2009

Everything really is 'All in This Tea'

This film, "All in This Tea," showed up again this weekend on the Sundance channel. It's a fine documentary about David Lee Hoffman, a pioneer in tasting tea and bringing the good stuff to America. Hoffman's one of those amazing guys who can slurp a hundred cups of tea in one round and read ’em each like books. He knows the farmers have the best tea, and he walks into villages in China where they all gather and shove bags of tea in his face. He's a walking, talking tea detector.

The film is by Les Blank, a documentarian with a very hands-off style. He's a pro at profiling interesting people and ferreting out the magic in what they do, simply by watching them do it. (Apropos of nothing, he made a mind-blowing documentary years ago about rock pianoman Leon Russell, which Russell refuses to allow him to release. It's that good. I saw it when Blank screened it on my college campus.) Lots of good tea info, interesting footage of China's tea backroads, and a most curious person. It only shows up on the Sundance schedule every so often, so keep a lookout.

Here's more video — this from the studious Samovar site in San Francisco — of Hoffman doing his thing ...

1 comment:

  1. Ahh. David Lee Hoffman. Great clip of him talking Pu-erh. How could anyone not just love this guy? It's too bad what he says about Pu-erh so often being fake. That's an unfortunate situation and nothing will change it anytime soon since the tea is growing so much in popularity. It's my new favorite so I'm another one of those people that love the stuff. However, I'm unusual because I'm more interested in its spiritual feeling than in the flavor exclusively. So a good fake might feel fine to me. --Spirituality of Tea