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  • International Tea Day is May 21

    Buddika Dissanayake from Forest Hill Tea in Sri Lanka

    Tea time with Buddika Dissanayake from Forest Hill Tea

    It's May 20, a bit early for International Tea Day, but considering it's already May 21 in most of the tea producing regions of the world, it's not early at all!  We're having a sale, of course, to celebrate and to keep everyone drinking lots of tea, but I'm guessing by the time you read this it will be long past May 21 and the sale will be over.  If you do happen to be reading this and it's still 2024 International Tea Day, then the code to enter at checkout is THANK YOU.

    Upon hearing that May 21 is International Tea Day I thought - ok well we better have a sale (that's just what you do if you're a tea merchant), but I also thought, "who makes up these silly days?" What's the deal? Is it just a "holiday" made up by a marketing department somewhere? 

    I did a little digging and to my surprise, International Tea Day was established by the United Nations to help raise awareness of the deep social, cultural, and economic reach of the global tea industry with a special emphasis on supporting tea agriculture and production practices that are sustainable and fair to all parties involved. 

    The resolution adopting International Tea Day makes note of several critical realities, such as:

    • "tea production and processing constitutes a main source of livelihoods for millions of families in developing countries"
    • "tea constitutes the main source of subsistence for millions of poor families who live in a number of the least developed countries" and
    • "tea production and processing contributes to the fight against hunger, the reduction of extreme poverty, the empowerment of women, and the sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems."
    Saman from Forest Hill Tea, Sri Lanka
    Sunanda, a smallholder who produces tea for Forest Hill in Sri Lanka

    Saman from Forest Hill (left, or top on mobile) and Sunanda (right, or bottom on mobile), one of smallholders who supplies tea for Forest Hill's special white teas

    We chose THANK YOU as the sale  code for International Tea Day because it's meant to honor all of the extremely hard work that tea laborers, farmers, and producers do every day of the year to make our favorite beverage, passionate hobby, and even somedays, the motivation that gets us through the day.

    Forest Hill Tea Staff, Sri Lanka

    These are the people who hand make the tea rods and all other Forest Hill teas (except me, of course)

    As you know, I just got back from Sri Lanka so many of the issues that International Tea Day evokes are top of mind right now. It's also one of the main tea buying seasons of the year, so Amy and I have been doing a lot of deep thinking about the kinds of teas we want to have on our list and what the impacts are of these choices.

    There are so many different reasons that we might have for picking up a tea, but being part of a chain of trade that actively (and not just tangentially) has a positive impact on smallholders, tea pickers, tea artisans, and emerging post-conflict tea origins is really important to us. It is becoming even more so as we deepen our tea roots with every passing year.

    Gorgeous Sri Lankan Vista

    Sri Lanka truly is a beautiful country.

    Next time, I'll tell you more about how Forest Hill Tea and other members of the Ceylon Artisanal Tea Association are having a social, cultural, and economic impact on their communities all while making some really gorgeous and unique teas. There is a lot of uplift happening right now, and we're super excited to get behind it in every way we can.

    Check out these related artisanal teas from Sri Lanka

    Forest Hill Handmade Wild Black Tea Rods
    Forest Hill Handmade Wild Black Tea Rods

    Forest Hill Handmade Wild Black Tea Rods

    Ceylon Organic Breakfast Black Tea
    Ceylon Organic Breakfast Black Tea

    Organic Ceylon Breakfast Tea

    Organic AMBA Estate Smoked Sri Lankan Black Tea
    Organic AMBA Estate Smoked Sri Lankan Black Tea

    Cinnamon Wood Smoked Tea from AMBA Estate (Organic)

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