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Tea farmer or Rockstar?

Get to know your local Louisiana tea farmer, Hans Marchese.

When you meet Hans for the first time you might be surprised that he is a tea maker. A tall guy, young and almost looks like he is the lead singer of a popular 90’s rock band like Pearl Jam. When you get to talking to him though, that surprise fades and you will think there is no doubt this man is a tea maker and has a passion for tea. He will break into tea science and use words that will have you asking Google what that word means. All of that is then nicely packaged with his natural kindness and friendliness.

Hans' friendly and outgoing personality makes him a wonderful ambassador at the Fleur De Lis Tea company for many reasons. First, he is so incredibly willing to share with people who visit the tea house, his passion for tea. Second, his ability to lead an engaging tea tour is outstanding. His energy is contagious. He is genuinely curious, he wants to know more about people. His presentation style is vibrant and energetic. At times funny and always 100% genuine.

A self described renaissance man, he likes to dabble in a lot of things. Biology, music, gardening, business, and of course tea.

When you ask Hans about his love for tea the response is not one of money or business but that he loves that tea is universal. Tea is its own open community of sharing. It brings people together. It is inclusive and synergistic (a Hans word).

He gives me an example of how he sees tea as inclusive. His friend with Cerebral Palsy who cannot go out to bars or do as many things as others, can be included with tea. Or those who don’t drink alcohol and are still looking for a place to have a drink and socialize can be included with tea.

Hans sees tea as a constructive habit vs destructive. Tea allows you to be social and have fun with others in a healthier way.

Hans journey to tea maker is an interesting one.

At age 24 Hans was introduced to a wider range of teas by the owner of West China Tea in Austin, Texas. There the retailer taught Hans a lot about the history of Chinese teas. This inspired Hans to start his own tea retailing business. He began selling tea at small events and venues.

Then Covid came along. Events were not happening and moving his tea was not working.

Hans had to adapt to support his household. This brought him to working at a pig farm. Little did he know this pig farm would eventually lead him to his dream job. Hired by the owner Grant at Laughing Buddha Nursery in Metairie, Louisiana. Hans was working to survive, not live his passion. But he took it in stride and embraced his love for dabbling in many things.

While there, at some point, he revealed his passion for tea to his boss, Grant.

A simple release of information led to a chain of events that would take Hans towards his passion.

Grant informed Hans that he ran a composting course and a man named David Barron who was starting a tea farm attended. He connected the two and Hans was eventually hired by David as a personal gardener for the Fleur De Lis Tea Company.

(Hans Marchese (left) and Fleur De Lis Tea Company owner David Barron (Right).

In Hans' first few years at the Fleur De Lis Tea farm he was focused on gardens and not tea. He was David’s personal veggie grower. The tea was planted but young. Too young to harvest so he was given other projects.