About Our Founder
About Our Founder
I was just out of college when I packed up my life and moved more than 7,000 miles from my hometown of Bay St. Louis, Mississippi to Seoul, South Korea.
During my nine years there, I spent my days delving into the culture and traditions of the nation and surrounding countries. As the travel bug continued to gnaw, my love for adventure took me to further corners of the globe – from the jungles of Indonesia to the market streets of London and many places in between.
Whether camping with Berber nomads in the Sahara Desert or slurping chanko with sumo wrestlers in Tokyo, it was through my interactions during my travels that I was able to see and learn about the world through the diverse perspectives of others. Yet, no matter how different the sights and sounds of the places I visited, I noticed they all had one thing in common: a love of tea.
I found that whether offered as a gesture of hospitality, served during a quick work break or consumed among friends, tea has a unique power to bring people together, inspire conversation and ignite curiosity – no matter where you are in the world.
As my love for tea and its various traditions grew even stronger, I made it my goal to find the very best tea in Asia by traveling to small, family-owned farms and cooperatives around the continent.
During these visits, I learned about the hard work that goes into making a good cup of tea. Farmers showed me the harvesting and processing techniques they use, many of which have been passed down in their families for generations.
Unlike large tea plantations, which often sacrifice quality for quantity, the small farms I visited focused on hand-crafting small harvests, some of them only making 10 pounds of tea per day.
My eyes were also opened to the social and environmental issues plaguing the modern tea industry: unsafe use of agrochemicals, unfair wages, the exploitation of tea pickers.
Therefore, I made it a top priority to build relationships with growers dedicated to creating quality teas through ethical, sustainable practices and by empowering their workers in their craft.
Sixteen pages of passport stamps, 10 immunizations, one hospital-inducing case of E. Coli and countless laughs over hundreds of cups of life-changing tea later, I had found my calling and started Gachi. Meaning “together” in Korean, Gachi aims to bring people closer to other cultures, to the earth, and – most importantly – to one another.
It’s my hope that Gachi’s teas will enhance your tea journey in these ways, whether you’re a newbie to the tea world, or well versed in all things Camellia sinensis.
Thanks for stopping by!