Fire on the (Tea) Mountain

Sep 21st 2021

So, some of you have noticed that the price of some of our teas - notably our Pu Er, as well as some red, white and other teas from Nannuo Mountain. The reason for this is that two Fridays ago, Li Shulin, our primary tea farmer, lost his home and all of his possessions to a fire. 

The reason I haven't shared about this on the website yet is because it's honestly difficult for me to talk about. Li is primarily a Pu Er farmer, and Pu Er is aged. Therefore, when his house burned, he not only lost this year's harvest of tea, he lost bings, bricks, and loose tea that he had been collecting and storing over the course of his 21-year career as an independent tea farmer. This is in addition to his home, his vehicle, and all of his tea processing equipment. 

He did not have insurance or monetary savings - his savings, his retirement fund, was all in the tea that burned. His situation is this: if he can't get enough money to start over, he's going to have to leave Nannuo Mountain, stop being a tea farmer, and move to Menghai to work for someone else. Li is a grandfather - for him to have to start over at this age is devastating. 

If you've ever enjoyed our Nannuo mountain teas - Dragon Bro, Rain Butter, Ultraviolet, Gamma Ray, Wild Purple, Purple Grace, Stone Axe, Vanilla Obscura, Immortal Dew, Doom Roy, Purple Moonlight, Ya Bao, to name a few of my favorites - then you've experienced something Li Shulin grew and made. 

On top of being the source of more than a quarter of all of our teas, including some of our most popular teas and my personal favorites, Li and his wife Cai are my closest friends in China. They're like family to me, and Li has made West China Tea possible by giving us extremely gracious prices on high quality tea, as well as extending credit to us throughout the history of our company. 

This is our opportunity as a community to show him how much he and his tea have brought to our lives by helping him when he needs us. Please donate to our fundraiser, and share with people you know who love tea or just want to help someone in need. We're more than 60% of the way to our goal of $20k as of the time of this article being written, and if we can reach our goal it will allow Li to be ready in time for the Autumn harvest next month. 

Thank you all for supporting us, and therefore supporting Li Shulin, all these years. Here's to hoping we can help him get back on his feet.