Workers on both tea plantations and small farms often face sexual harassment and other human-rights abuses, cripplingly low wages, and health issues caused by the backbreaking work of picking and pesticide exposure.
It is time for an excursion to the country. On the main street of a tea village called Meijiawu, there are no English words on the signs. I am beginning to breathe. The air smells cleaner. Maybe it is all the Longjing tea leaves.