Andy has mostly lived in Taiwan since 1989.
In 1993, his appreciation for the locally-grown tea that he had already developed led him to the home of a tea farming family in the Lugu Township of Nantou County. Since then, it has been an ongoing exploration of the world of tea which has provided a fulfillment that is unique to this island.
Since 1997, Andy has been sharing this passion for tea as an exclusive online exporter of quality teas from Taiwan. Now, after more than 20 years of avid appreciation for this cultural treasure – he is endeavoring to provide some progressive input through the establishment of Eco-Cha.
The couple that Andy initially visited in 1993 have become his tea mentors as well as his adopted Taiwanese family. Over the last two decades, Andy has observed Tony and Lisa Lin play central roles in a renaissance of traditional Chinese tea culture in Taiwan that is unsurpassed in any other country.
In 1995, Andy performed musical accompaniment to the inaugural ceremony of The Living Art of Tea Club that Tony established to promote tea culture through the Lu Gu Farmers Association. This club now puts on exclusive reservation only tea brewing events annually that have been featured in PBS series and other national media coverage. These events are some of the highlights of Andy's tea culture experiences. Lisa has been artistic director of the club and its activities in the last decade. Andy has also appeared in local PBS series and in local media - featured as the foreigner who is captivated by Taiwan tea culture.
This personal friendship that has grown out of the context of tea has become the most meaningful cultural connection in Andy's life. He is fully indebted to their openness and inclusion into their family as well as their tea vocations.
Tom has grown up amidst tea culture as it has been embodied by his parents. He lives in the heart of tea country - in Lu Gu, Taiwan.
He has a Master’s Degree in Agritourism, and has taught in the public school system in Taiwan. Recently, Tom has pursued education in the micro-brewing of beer, woodwork, and western cuisine with aspirations of designing and operating his own tea house/micro-brewery/cafe.
He is a highly innovative and motivated individual and we are very inspired to have him on board as a local liaison in the tea industry as well as an active contributor to the development of Eco-Cha.
Nick has been living and working in Taiwan for the last 10 years.
He naturally assimilated into the local culture by quickly developing a firm command of Mandarin and integrating into the mainstream society. Within a few years of his life in Taiwan, he sourced employment in the Technology Sector and has since moved on to being self-employed through various entrepreneurial pursuits.
Nick and Andy met in Taiwan, and have been good friends for many years, living in the same neighborhood and supporting each other in common interests. This has finally led to their commitment to sharing the local tea culture, that they both find compelling - with the ever-growing population of tea lovers abroad.
Tony is the Director of the Agricultural Extension Dept. at the Lugu Farmers’ Association in Nantou County, Taiwan. His work includes:
Tony received the Distinguished Award for Agricultural Extension by the Federal Government in 1999. Returning to get his Master’s degree after more than 20 years on the job, he received the Agricultural Promotion Association Award for Exemplary Thesis. Other experience includes:
Lisa Lin has also been a certified judge and served on the team of judges for the Lu Gu Farmers' Association Tea Competition for over a decade.
Lisa is a highly creative person who has brought a distinct element of design and decor to the courses and events that she has facilitated, including the The Living Art of Tea Club annual events. She is an accomplished ceramicist and is highly skilled in the art of tea tasting and roasting. Her deep understanding of tea and refined palate have gained her wide respect in the industry, despite her utterly modest and down-to-earth character.
This husband and wife team have been among Taiwan’s most prominent representatives of tea culture - continuously innovating and developing the cultural and professional components of the tea industry for decades. Together they founded the Living Art of Tea Club and have facilitated dozens of unprecedented private activities and public events, promoting tea culture for the last twenty years.