Renowned tea importer and entrepreneur David Lee Hoffman will visit the Monmouth College campus Feb. 25-27 as part of a science-business initiative funded by the Wells Foundation. All of the related “A Celebration of Tea” events are free and open to the public
Hoffman, who was a key figure in the 2007 documentary “All in This Tea” by Les Blank and Gina Leibrecht, will attend a screening of the film on Feb. 25 at 8 p.m. in the college’s Dahl Chapel.
On Feb. 26, Hoffman will speak to various college classes before giving a public presentation at 7:30 p.m. in Dahl Chapel, titled “The Adventures of Finding and Importing the World’s Finest Teas from a Changing China.”
Hoffman will visit more classes on Feb. 27, with the last event of his visit being a tea sampling from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Whiteman-McMillan Highlander Room of Stockdale Center. Among the teas being sampled will be ones from the college’s MiddleWest Teas project, an entrepreneurial venture led by students Connor Shields of Naperville and Will Terrill of Sandwich, who were both instrumental in arranging for Hoffman to visit campus. To make reservations for the event, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Known for introducing handmade artisan teas to the West, Hoffman has traveled the remote backcountry of Asia for more than 40 years seeking out the world’s finest rare, organic and wild pure tea leaves. He is the first American to work directly with tea farmers in China and to engage in joint ventures with old, established tea gardens.
With an extensive background in vermiculture and soil fertility, Hoffman has worked in China with the prestigious National Tea Research Institute, the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences and the Department of Agriculture to help them implement organic and sustainable tea farming practices.