Imbibe 75 Person to Watch: Annie Xiang - Imbibe Magazine Subscribe + Save

Imbibe 75 Person to Watch: Annie Xiang

“What do you know about the tea that you last consumed?” asks Annie Xiang. It’s a question that bears rumination. While devoted tea drinkers could likely wax poetic about the style, what about the place where it was grown or the farmer who grew and harvested it? Xiang saw it in stark contrast to the comparative wealth of info supplied by the specialty coffee industry. “A high-quality tea is sustainably grown and meticulously produced using craft that has been passed down through generations,” says Xiang. “These farmers deserve recognition and an opportunity to operate in a world where their tea is regarded as a specialty product.”

Compounding factors led Xiang to quit her corporate job with an accounting firm during the pandemic and launch her own business. As a first-generation Chinese American and a new mother, Xiang says she was deeply affected by the hate crimes that spiked against the AAPI community. “I found myself longing to serve my community in more meaningful and impactful ways,” she says. “So much hate and prejudice stem from a lack of empathy. I knew that I wanted to help tell our stories.”

A month after leaving her job, she launched Volition Tea, which celebrated its first anniversary this past fall. Xiang connects directly with farmers in China to bring their sustainably grown teas (no pesticides or chemical fertilizers) to market and share their stories. “We firmly believe that tea tastes better when you feel personally connected to the farmers who produced it,” she says.

Click here to read more about some of 2023’s other Imbibe 75 People and Places to Watch.

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