Today, May 4th, is International Tea Day! The first official Tea Day was observed in 2005, and while schools and banks aren't closed in the United States because of it, I encourage you to heat your kettles and ponder a few things on this very special day.
Firstly, an insane amount of work goes into producing even the smallest amount of tea. I will spend my day appreciating the off season work (pruning and maintenance), plucking, withering, shaping and rolling, drying, packaging, auctions, and shipping just to name a few. The vast majority of these jobs are performed in nations such as Bangladesh, Indonesia, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Malawi, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Uganda, and Vietnam.
Perhaps not always known for fair trade practices, it is the smaller farmers and workers unions in these regions that are using this day to continue discussions regarding fair wages, medical care, and housing for their work forces. For this reason, I too will use the day to review current Joy's Teaspoon tea providers to ensure that I am supporting companies that are not only providing great teas but ensuring that their workers are safe and well compensated in the process.
Please let us know what you plan on drinking, or doing, to celebrate International Tea Day!