Welcome to the Jeff Fuchs Tea Blog

It seems only fair that this first tea entry begins where the ‘green’ begins – tea’s humid and understated roots. Here, where tea has been nurtured virtually unchanged in all of the patient centuries and where still today the green leaf is treated with a reverence that speaks to a long and gentle union with both man and soil. Here it is a food, a friend and an essential. Asia’s great ‘commodity’ here, still retains its primary roles as unifier, cure-all, and simple beverage – though in a typical bit of tea-irony, these teas are prized above all others by the private buyers and purists, who will happily part with enormous amounts of life’s other ‘green’ (cash) to quietly add a few kg’s to their private stock.

In Yunnan province’s indigenous southern stronghold, where mists hold sway and heat pervades everything, tea trees have been allowed to evolve unencumbered, reaching metres into the heavy air. Rich soil, undulating terrain and a tea pedigree in its veins makes the area a ‘tea mecca’.

 While the pace of life slows here, there is an increase in smiles. The wiry and tough Pulang, Dai and Wa peoples – tea’s ancient harvesters and care-givers, the Hani (Akha) and Lahu, (who have had the tea knowledge passed down to them), produce teas of stunning simplicity. Tea’s here are consumed green and potent with no insulting additions made. This is the dwelling place of Puer (Pu’erh) tea – big leafed, sun dried – and as this tea reaches ever-widening ‘sippers’ it is impossible to overstate how important the views of the indigenous growers are.

About JeffFuchs

Bio Having lived for most of the past decade in Asia, Fuchs’ work has centered on indigenous mountain cultures, oral histories with an obsessive interest in tea. His photos and stories have appeared on three continents in award-winning publications Kyoto Journal, TRVL, and Outpost Magazine, as well as The Spanish Expedition Society, The Earth, Silkroad Foundation, The China Post Newspaper, The Toronto Star, The South China Morning Post and Traveler amongst others. Various pieces of his work are part of private collections in Europe, North America and Asia and he serves as the Asian Editor at Large for Canada’s award-winning Outpost magazine. Fuchs is the Wild China Explorer of the Year for 2011 for sustainable exploration of the Himalayan Trade Routes. He recently completed a month long expedition a previously undocumented ancient nomadic salt route at 4,000 metres becoming the first westerner to travel the Tsa’lam ‘salt road’ through Qinghai. Fuchs has written on indigenous perspectives for UNESCO, and has having consulted for National Geographic. Fuchs is a member of the fabled Explorers Club, which supports sustainable exploration and research. Jeff has worked with schools and universities, giving talks on both the importance of oral traditions, tea and mountain cultures. He has spoken to the prestigious Spanish Geographic Society in Madrid on culture and trade through the Himalayas and his sold out talk at the Museum of Nature in Canada focused on the enduring importance of oral narratives and the Himalayan trade routes. His recently released book ‘The Ancient Tea Horse Road’ (Penguin-Viking Publishers) details his 8-month groundbreaking journey traveling and chronicling one of the world’s great trade routes, The Tea Horse Road. Fuchs is the first westerner to have completed the entire route stretching almost six thousand kilometers through the Himalayas a dozen cultures. He makes his home in ‘Shangrila’, northwestern Yunnan upon the eastern extension of the Himalayan range where tea and mountains abound; and where he leads expeditions the award winning ‘Tea Horse Road Journey’ with Wild China along portions of the Ancient Tea Horse Road. To keep fueled up for life Fuchs co-founded JalamTeas which keeps him deep in the green while high in the hills.
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5 Responses to Welcome to the Jeff Fuchs Tea Blog

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Jeff Fuchs' Tea and Mountain Journals » Welcome to the Jeff Fuchs Tea Blog -- Topsy.com

  2. David Turberfield says:

    A few days after sharing a small pot of tea in your drafty loft in Shangri La’s old town, gazing across the wood slat rooftops at the temple on turtle hill blazing in the November afternoon sun, the academy’s gurgling water tank and Jon Jon’s inventions to be – the topics of the day, Dakpa dropped two chunky discs wrapped in fine paper into my lap.  “Puer – very good…..” with a winking smile and a few weeks later we are haggling hard for as much as we can carry in the tea markets of Kunming…. hooked!

    Today, we are sat in Luang Prabang planning our next border crossing on our trans-siberian overland excursion from Singapore to London. Lao to China…. Yunnan… and of course, Puer… With the wife and kids grumbling at this troublesome diversion, for me – it’s the highlight of our trip and I’m not to be swayed.   

    I have no doubt that your passion for this ancient, mystical yet most practical of commodities will be as inspirational to others as it has been to me. I for one will be a regular visitor to this site and am looking forward to the next installment, cup in hand. Keep blogging!

  3. JeffFuchs says:

    Good to hear of your journeying and of your vice. Travel and tea go together…each supporting the other. Looking forward to more slurps in my drafty loft. Travel safe, happily and ‘well-tead’ up.

  4. Benoy says:

    Hi Jeff! Lovely blog you have here and of course lovely lovely photos. I got referred from FB. I have joined your FB page as well. Just great!

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