The brilliant Qi teas all began with the mistaken purchase of a book at an airport

It’s fascinating to learn how some companies started. Take for example the beginning of Qi Herbal Health.

There has been a huge increase in the tea business in recent years but few probably started by mistakenly buying the wrong book at an airport. Joe d’Armenia must have been forced to read about the benefits of Green Tea for a few hours, but he was fascinated what he read of the benefits of drinking the tea.

It surprised him more to learn that Green Tea was mostly imported by German brokers rather than directly from China. Following an introduction to Mrs Yu Jing Hong, a minister supervising over the Yellow Mountain Region of China, Joe d’Armenia arranged for tea to be imported directly into the UK.

The Yellow Mountain Region is an area of outstanding natural beauty, remote and unspoilt. The farmers there still farm by organic methods and Joe d’Armenia helped organise more than 400 families into the Xitou Organic Farmers Association, a Fairtrade partnership.

The farmers pride in their tea, blending the teas into wonderful varieties such as pomegranate with white tea or oolong with mint and licorice. Qi Herbal Health has resulted not only in industrial enterprise for the area but also the funding of a local school, greater medical care and amenities such as street lighting and road repairs for the local town of Xitou. Not bad for a journey which began with buying the wrong book.

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