How did you get into teamaking? Where did you accrue your experience as a teamaker?
"I started working at Minto Island Growers when I moved to Salem several years ago. I ran the farmstand for a season and worked on the farm crew part time. The owner, Elizabeth Miller, asked me if I wanted to start making tea, because during that particular season, Balazs Hanger––the first teamaker to make really good tea out of the leaf here––was taking a hiatus from Minto Island Tea Co. I said “sure,” not really knowing what I was getting myself into. All I had by way of instruction was some literature from the internet about processing tea at home, and some notebooks that Balazs and Elizabeth had written up during previous harvest seasons. The tea I made that year probably wasn’t spectacular, because I was learning how to work with the leaf, and the timing and coordination that’s involved in the process, but I made it! This is my 4th season making tea, and I’ve learned so much about each step of the process every year. We do everything by hand right now, which is very traditional. But in a few years when we have more material to work with, we’ll have to strategically incorporate some more mechanical processes."