From the Taoist mountains of Wuyishan to the remote mountains of Yunnan, JT Hunter (founder of Wild Tea Qi & Co-founder of International Tea Academy) keeps on his search for the exotic, wild and ancient tree teas and master tea artisans. J T Hunter, our Founder, has studied with Taoist masters, Buddhist monks, and the tribal people of Yunnan in their mysterious tea cultures. He has been studying Taoist healing martial arts, meditation and Qigong for many years. While studying with a renowned Chinese medicine doctor, he learned how to heal himself emotionally and physically with wild teas. He learned that when a tea tree can grow strong roots into the ground it produces strong Qi.
He noticed that whenever he drank a particular wild tea, in this case a Oolong he felt invigorated, his spirits high and creativity spurting. Any depression quickly vanished. His teacher showed him how tea was to be taken as a daily natural medicine for longevity as well as to heal many ailments.
After his trainings he went on to China to work at a free healing clinic, treating patients with a special form of Qigong Tui Na (Qigong Medical Massage) and Medical Qigong. While in China, he decided to explore the mountains where this magnificent wild Oolong came from.
It was love at first sight, meeting the farmer and his family who had been on the same mountain using the traditional cultivation and processing secrets for over 800 years. From this point on JT knew he had to research and find more teas.
Later he encountered a mysterious Taoist monk who had been brewing Wuyi Mountain teas for him. This monk taught him a whole other world about the spirit of wild teas and how they have been used in spiritual practices, including meditation and Qigong for thousands of years.
"Why was this not known in the West?”he thought.
He then left on a journey to study more with this monk deep in the mountains of Wuyishan and how to work with the spirit of tea. Wanting to know more about the spirit of tea and how it was used he turned then to the remote mountains of Yunnan. Upon arriving in Yunnan he learned how the tribal people were using various ceremonies and prayers to work with the spirit of the ancient tea trees. They believed these trees possessed special powers and had protected them through times of war, famine and tumultuous times.
In his treks he saw how many large-scale farms and unsustainable harvesting practices were actually destroying the environment and producing teas with very weak Qi energy. They were simply being mass-produced for large profit while paying unskilled workers a very poor wage. He saw how the master artisans were quickly disappearing, how the spiritual tea culture was being lost.
It became JT Hunter’s mission to help support the true artisans, support sustainable tea harvesting practices and to make this amazing, spiritual tea culture known to the west, thus he created Wild Tea Qi.
Today, JT Hunter continues its treks across China digging deeper into the spiritual tea culture and in search of wild and ancient tree teas.
JT is the author of the renowned book Wild Tea Hunter. He along with Shana Zhang designed the packaging that won the 2012 Award for Best New Packaging at the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas.