ALL IN THIS TEA (Les Blank, Gina Leibrecht, U.S.). 70 minutes. Saturday (April 21), 5 pm, ROM; Tuesday (April 24), noon, Isabel Bader. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
David Lee Hoffman doesn't want all the tea in China, just the best. As one of the world's most discriminating tea importers, Hoffman's spent much of his life sniffing leaves, sipping samples and foraging through that country's vast fields and forests in search of the perfect cup.
Keen on sustainable, environmentally sound growing practices (he can taste a chemical instantly), Hoffman has a calm, wise presence, but he's no pushover and stubbornly finds ways to get the farmers' products to him, even though there are many levels of bureaucracy to negotiate.
Filmmakers Les Blank and Gina Leibrecht juxtapose one of his trips through China with a chorus of other tea lovers. It's entertaining and informative even without subtitles. Just make sure you leave time afterwards to run to a high-end tea shop to sample its wares.