[ LOUIS VUITTON HAWAII FILM FESTIVAL ]
David Lee Hoffman shares his passion for tea in the documentary, "All in This Tea."
Film follows tea fanatic’s passion all the way to China
"All in This Tea"
Screens at 3:30 p.m. Saturday and noon Oct. 23, Dole Cannery multiplex as part of the Hawaii International Film Festival. Tickets are $10.
You, over there, dunking a soggy tea bag in overheated water ... and you, making iced tea out of -- ye gads! -- powdered mix ... David Lee Hoffman would slap both your heads.
Also showing as part of the festival's Eat, Drink, Film Showcase:
» "Kamome Diner" (japanese), 4 P.M. Sunday And 5:30 P.M. Monday
» "how To Cook Your Life" (german), 5:30 P.M. Oct. 23 And 1:30 P.M. Oct. 24
» "The Yakiniku Movie: Bulgogi" (japanese) 1 P.M. Oct. 27
» "A Touch Of Spice" (greek) 4 P.M. Oct. 27
Or maybe not, he seems like a tolerant guy, but then again we're talking tea here, and about that, he is a fanatic. A geek. Obsessed. He even has his own cave for aging puerh, a Tibetan fermented tea. Packaging his precious leaves, he looks as goofily happy as a hippie bagging weed.
Hoffman, an American tea importer, is the central character in "All in This Tea," which follows his journey to China seeking out premium, hand-picked, hand-cured, organic teas. For this he insists on traveling to remote farms, overriding China's oft-infuriating factory system.
His hope is not just to buy great tea, but to help sustain an ancient tea-making culture. In this, he is less fanatic, more pioneer.
The documentary is mostly of the fly-on-the-wall variety, following Hoffman on a quest that takes him to beautiful farms, cramped tea shops and markets where he sticks his nose into bags of tea held aloft by hopeful farmers.
Interspersed are interviews with other earnest tea geeks, who wax eloquent about the drink's depth, charm, calming properties. And, oh yes, caffeine delivery system. Did you know that an early Buddhist worshipper, frustrated by his inability to stay alert in pursuit of enlightenment, removed his eyelids? "Where he threw them the first tea bush grew." It's true. Learned it here.