All In This Tea


Directed by Les Blank and Gina Leibrecht, the movie finds an amiable guide to the world of tea and its cultivation in David Lee Hoffman, an American importer dedicated to securing the freshest teas in China. Committed as well to buying directly from local farmers, Mr. Hoffman runs smack into China’s notoriously complex bureaucracy, leading to comedic scenarios. (How do you say worm droppings in Chinese?) All In This Tea dips effortlessly into a half-dozen modes — travelogue, biography, nature ode, business story, nerd profile — sustaining a flexibility of tone that allows for both keen insights into the rapidly evolving Chinese economy and drunken raptures on the ability, in one especially prized blend, to taste the mountain. (

Year Released
Running Time
70 minutes
Date Released
Flower Films
Average: 3.3 (3 votes)


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Good information

Field of Interest/Specialty: Family and Consumer Sciences
Posted On: 01/10/2020

I teach Family and Consumer Sciences at the middle school level.
Upon previewing this video, I determined it would not interest middle school students. The video did provide me with good background information for when I teach about tea and food sourcing. I could see using short excerpts from the video to explain how tea is made or where tea is grown.
It was interesting that Hoffman was passionate about sustainable and organic growing practices emphasizing the small farmer, given that the video was produce in 1990. Those who teach environmental sciences and/or economics may find this video useful as it explores Hoffman’s challenges in dealing with the Chinese mass producers of tea and the attempts of the Chinese government to keep him from dealing directly with small farmers. It also addresses his frustration in enduring organic and sustainable growing practices and how it impacts the quality of tea.

All In This Tea Review by Sewickley Academy Middle School Mandarin Teacher Shan Callaghan

Field of Interest/Specialty: World Language
Posted On: 01/03/2020

I watched All In This Tea with my 7th-grade students. We all agreed that the film was a bit too outdated and not a very interesting and exciting DVD for middle schoolers to watch. Students could get some useful information on where the tea grows, how the tea farmers process the tea leaves as well as the passion of tea expert David Lee Hoffman to remote regions of China in search of the best handmade teas in existence. But overall, I wouldn't recommend using the DVD as a teaching substance in a middle school class.

All In This Tea

Field of Interest/Specialty: teacher
Posted On: 01/12/2018

.....All In This Tea is a documentary film by Les Blank & Gina Leibrecht. The film follows David Lee Hoffman, a California tea importer throughout China . David is looking for the best handmade teas to be shipped to the United States . Tea making techniques and secrets have been passed through generations. David discovers independent farmers who use these techniques on his extensive journey through China . He believes the organic teas grown on the small farms are superior to the higher yield cash crops of the factories . This documentary offers insight into the labor to find the best teas and purchase the best teas . The film also, captures David’s passion for educating others about the finer points of tea. I found this video to be enjoyable and I found it very interesting.