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The Way of Tea and Justice

by Bingran Zeng October 31, 2014

The Way of Tea and Justice

Becca Stevens, Founder of Thistle Farms, Magdalene and the Thistle Stop Cafe, is proud to announce her latest book: The Way of Tea and Justice: Rescuing the World’s Favorite Beverage from Its Violent History. Becca started the Thistle Stop Café to empower women survivors. But when she discovered a connection between café workers and tea laborers overseas, she embarked on a global mission called "Shared Trade" to increase the value of women survivors and producers across the globe. 

 

As she recounts the victories and unexpected challenges of building the café, Becca also sweeps the reader into the world of tea, where timeless rituals transport to an era of beauty and the challenging truths about tea's darker, more violent history. She offers moving reflections of the meaning of tea in our lives, plus recipes for tea blends that readers can make themselves. Not only is tea the most widely consumed beverage after water in the world, it is the oldest cultivated plant, comes from a single species, and is connected to justice, revolution and religion like no other plant. While tea has helped usher in great economic and spiritual growth in its 3,500 year history, it has been part of the oppression of women. It is tied to the work and mission of Thistle Farms through the stories of sexual violence in the fields of India and the trading of opiates in China. But tea has a noble story too, as its rituals and traditions are great companions for cultivating a contemplative heart. Through our attention to how it is grown and by whom, a tea rooted in justice is a great companion for our spiritual journeys.

 

In this journey of triumph for impoverished tea laborers, hope for café workers, and insight into the history of tea, Becca sets out to defy the odds and prove that love is the most powerful force for transformation on earth.

 

 

Bingran Zeng
Bingran Zeng



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