Luo Shao Jun
When you first meet Mrs. Luo you will immediately recognize her as a humble and lovely women, the quintessential auntie neighbor. Her demeanor doesn’t match the impressive title this amazing tea master carries as one of the top tea experts in China. Mrs. Luo is the Director of China’s Hangzhou Institute of Tea Supply and Marketing, as well as the director of National Tea Quality Control Center and editor in chief of the Chinese Tea Processing magazine. She is regularly asked her opinion on tea matters in addition to judging tea, both in China and internationally. We first met Mrs. Luo about three years ago during our visit to the Original Lapsang Souchong tea farms. She was actively working with the farmers to protect organic tea production in this region and introducing this authentic tea to the European tea counsel.
Mrs. Luo’s integrity and work ethic has made her well respected with both tea farmers and government officials alike. In fact during the recent biannual government convention to discuss politics in China, she was asked to come to Beijing as a representative on tea concerns for all of China. As a strong advocate for tea agriculture and culture, she made strong recommendations for the need to improve ecological practices and promote tea culture with youths to maintain China’s cultural heritage. She remarked that tea is Eastern culture’s immortal protector and it is essential to protect its history and culture.
On our recent trip to China, Mrs. Luo shared a program she began that reflects her tireless campaign to support ecological and ethical tea production. Outside Anxi in Fujian province lays a small country side town called Zhen Tian. Like many rural areas, the majority of men have gone to the cities to find work to support their families leaving women and the elderly behind. While the production of oolong was typically done by men, Mrs. Luo understood that by training women to produce tie guan yin oolong she could provide hope and future economic self-sufficience to rebuild this community. In addition to tea training, this program sponsors yearly tea competitions to award these women, raising their hopes for a better future. This is only one of many contributions by Mrs. Luo. At Seven Cups we are proud to call her our friend!