T Ching Contributing Writer

So-Han Fan was born in New Orleans to a Chinese father and a Jewish mother. After moving to Houston as a baby, his interaction with his Chinese heritage focused mainly around food, including weekend dim sum brunches fueled by pot after pot of hot pu er tea.

However, he discovered his passion for gong fu cha and Chinese tea culture while studying in Santa Cruz, California. For the next seven years he dabbled in the burgeoning West Coast gong fu cha community, taught free classes on the topic, and worked for a year in the now-defunct Jade Leaves Teahouse in Austin, Texas.

From 2010-2012 he lived in Chengdu, Sichuan, interning with CURA, an environmental NGO focused on water sustainability. In his leisure time he explored the famous tea mountains of Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guangxi, and upon his return founded West China Tea Company in Austin to share his farm-direct teas and Chinese tea culture. Since then he has made return trips specifically to source teas, and now has farm-direct artisan teas from Sichuan, Yunnan, Guangxi, Fujian, Taiwan, and Guangdong. He travels back to China annually to expand his repertoire and to deepen his knowledge and relationships with his farmers.