California Fires Destroy California Tea Farm

We’ve long known and supported the tea growing efforts of farmers around the USA trying to get tea going. Many have had successes, and you can read about all the current tea growing farms in the country here.

One such farm is owned and operated by Mike and Donna Fritts, since 2010, pictured above. They’ve experimented with processing many styles of tea, apparently grown from descendants of tea planted in 1896 at the Wakamatsu Tea & Silk Colony. You could taste and buy their tea if you contacted them, or come to visit. Additionally, you could buy their tea from Tea Cozy, either online or at their store in Sacramento.

Sadly, this last week, their home and tea farm burned to the ground in the catastrophic series of fired ravaging California, the largest and most deadly in history. Many people have lost their homes, worse, but being World of Tea, we wanted to give our readers the opportunity to spread the love a little. We’ve included below a message from our tea friend Dave Hammer, of Purple Cloud Tea, with outlets to donate to the Fritts to help them get back on their feet and potentially grow tea once more!

“Dear Friends, this is Mike Fritts’ home. Reduced to rubble and ashes, not unlike the homes of so many in the area. It might be hard to imagine now, but this is the site where a humble organic tea oasis once stood. Mike and Donna having been through so much already and after seeing the remains of their property, they still remain optimistic for their future and for the rebuilding of Golden Feather Tea. Mike feels confident that there may be a fraction of surviving tea plants – I won’t argue with that – Mike knows his tea. They are extremely grateful to have the outreach and support of so many in the tea community and beyond. There is much work ahead and we’ll keep you posted. Thank you all!”

California fired destroy tea farm

The Fritts’ house and farm, reduced to ashes.

If you would like to donate, please consider the following:

1) Purple Cloud Tea House is accepting donations with no purchase necessary, as well as donating 100% of profits from sales through 11/18/18. Please consider if you would like to support Mike’s family or his efforts in the rebuilding of Golden Feather Tea.
2) The Art of Tea is selling Guqing song “Blessing Chant” at $1.99 for donation to Mike. Please join us and send a blessing to Mike. May they stay safe and sound, until they can go back to their home and rebuild everything.
3) James Erb from American Gong Fu has put together the following auction: https://www.americangongfu.com/pages/benefit-auction-for-mike-fritz
4) Mike also had a GoFundMe set up prior the fire, we’re sure anything would help.

* Title photo courtesy of Heather Hacking / Daily Democrat.

2018-11-26T11:32:43+00:00

About the Author:

Jordan has spent most of his life working in the food and beverage industry. His professional experience with tea started at American Tea Room in Los Angeles, where he worked for almost six years, becoming their Beverage Director and helping in a three-location expansion. Later, he moved to developing, training, and menu-building what would become Alfred Tea Room, which he's helped expand into Japan. He now serves as Food & Beverage Director for Alfred Inc. which includes Alfred Tea Room and multiple locations of Alfred Coffee in Los Angeles and Austin.

One Comment

  1. Nancy Feeney November 19, 2018 at 12:07 am - Reply

    My heart goes out to you and your family. I grow tea in Virginia and know what a work of love it is to grow this plant.
    I do know that the roots grow deep and hope next spring you will be surprised with new growth.
    I had deer eat mine down to the nub one year and some did return.
    Best of Luck

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