Tea with David Lee Hoffman

In February 2012 I visited David Lee Hoffman at his house in Lagunitas, California.

David is well known tea connoisseur and importer of tea from China and Nepal after spending many years travelling in that part of the world in the 1970s and 80s.

Much of why we have such good access to high quality Chinese teas today is because of David Lee Hoffman’s travels and work to bring these teas out of China.

He started Silk Road Teas in 1990, which always has excellent teas. 

The documentary All In This Tea followed him on a trek through China to source tea and raise awareness for organic practices of cultivation.

David’s main site for his tea writings and more is The Phoenix Collection.

David was interviewed by Jesse Jacob’s of Samvoar Tea Lounge in San Francisco. See Part I and Part II.

The day I visited David had a second visitor as well. Jalel Sager writes for FuturArc, an architecture magazine based out of Hong Kong. His article features my photos.


David poured several teas as we talked about my upcoming sabbatical and tea travel to Darjeeling, India, which would take place in May 2013.


David is well known for his work in sustainability. He has engineered his home to recycle water and compost as much as possible. Here he dug out a portion of dirt full of earthworms.