How does one end up driving around America giving free tea to everybody he meets, while engaging in the gift economy to maintain the journey? It’s like a “have a penny, leave a penny, need a penny, take a penny” jar at an old corner store, but on a much bigger, more personal scale. Here’s how it all got started…
The Magical Free Tea Party Bus
Guisepi was feeling a bit lonely, so he decided to start driving all around America, giving out free tea. He sets up shop, pulls out a beautiful rug, and sees who approaches for tea and conversation. He’s taken the converted bus all over, and met all sorts of people, and may not have as much money to show for it as a typical “food truck”, he’s getting the things that money can’t buy… the things you can only afford with an open mind, and a nice cup of tea with a new friend.
Watch This Video To See It In Action
He estimates that he’s given away over twenty-five thousand cups of tea so far, and shows no signs of slowing down.
“When I gave something away for free with no strings attached, it gave people the opportunity to have more deep interactions.” – Giuseppe
Creating a Community
His Tea Wagon really brings people together, all around the country, from different backgrounds, and it’s really what tea is all about. There’s a huge cast of people who have all helped and contributed in a variety of ways, and the website for this time-travelling tea van and it’s noble conductor speaks of all the different types of help they accept from people who love the idea and want to contribute. It includes things like a garage and some help working on the van, assorted car parts and materials, pieces of firewood of all sizes, and a lot more. It shows that you don’t need a fancy electric tea kettle, and that what matters most is the people you’re with, and the stories you share, and the memories you create.
A variety of different tea brands support the voyage, which is nice to hear, and the companies that have supported the bus are certainly worth taking a look at the next time you’re looking to try something new. There’s a list of supporters on the Free Tea Party Bus website, along with an interesting FAQ with a lot more information for you to peruse, we’ll include a link at the bottom of this page.
Contribute to the Tea Wagon
Also, for those who want to help out with a bit of money, there’s always costs like water filters, soap, oil changes… those types of things add up, especially when you’re not charging money for tea. Guisepi accepts donations of money through the website, but not in person – he doesn’t want anyone to have to pay for their tea. However, it seems like his favorite gift of all to receive is something homemade, like canned produce that people have grown in their gardens.
Here is some more information on the various ways that you can share in this journey.