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Ermanno's Phoenix Mobile Tea House

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In short:

  • Ermanno's tea project and all possessions burnt down
  • He has lived a life of service, never trying to acquire wealth, instead he has helped countless people directly and in their projects
  • He wishes to serve Puerh tea to people (for free) as a way of giving some peace, happiness and beauty to them
  • We are raising money to buy him a van to live in and use as Mobile Tea House

Here's the whole story:

The 1st of July 2021 was Ermanno's first tea birthday, not the first time he had Chinese tea, but the first time he decided he would dedicate most of his time to serving it.

It was just 11 days ago that we celebrated his tea birthday in Brighton, where he was our guest and used a garden cabin as tea hub, office, tea ceremony and creativity centre.

He worked with a single-minded focus to launch his new tea project (, a website to support his goal of serving tea to many people for free).

On 11th July 2022, the tea hub caught fire and burnt all of his material possessions (including cash, documents, about 10 tongs of puerh, teaware, family memories, diaries) and effectively killed the project.

This happened just as he was trying to formulate with words his mission, which he finally settled on: Introducing people to the life-changing effect of puerh tea (beauty, improving life, giving peace, allowing them to see things from a positive perspective)

He has nothing right now (except an old car, some building tools, a phone, the clothes he had on when the fire happened and about £200 in a bank account)

He's obviously in some shock, but in truth he feels quite free and hopeful for a new life too. He reported, laughing, that the tea he drank on the morning of the fire is called "Beginner's mind".

Ermanno has helped countless people in his life and never asked for anything back. Indeed, he has been resisting asking for anything and we were having a quite poignant conversation about it just the night before the fire, where I suggested it's okay to ask for help when you're giving so much.

Ermanno's desire is to serve tea and humanity, and this cathartic event seems to have convinced him that it's okay to ask for help to realise a selfless goal like this.

We would like to buy him a van for him to live, travel and serve puerh/tea ceremony (for free, as he always does, just accepting but not requesting donations).
Tea can be very healing and beautiful, and we have no doubt he embodies these qualities already and will do very good for people.

He had a dream of travelling around UK and europe serving tea and bringing some peace to people; we, his friends, trust in this dream.

These are some inspiration pictures on how he would like the mobile tea house to look like:

This is just a rough sketch made by a friend (thank you Daniela!) in a few minutes but we will add more details soon.

We are hoping to raise the full £50.000 for a properly done mobile tea house, but we will be able to do some version of the mobile tea house (with some compromises) with at least £25.000. (If we will be much lower than that, we will have to consider a different tea-serving related project).

A basic breakdown:
  • 5-8 years old Van: £15000-20000 (with enough space for a mobile tea room seating 4 guests inside and up to 10 under an awning)
  • Living space conversion: £10000-13000 (basic toilet and kitchen, solar, insulation)
  • Tea house conversion: £8500-11500 (bespoke wooden tea house with windows for peaceful tea sessions)
  • Tea and teaware: £1500
  • Insurance, car tax, various expenses: £800
  • Fuel for the first six months: £1200
We will also save a lot of money by having Ermanno himself work on most of the non-specialised parts of the conversion since he definitely has the skills to do so

We feel Ermanno deserves a van in good working condition, nice material for the tea house room and a minimum of comfort, but he's happy to do the project even with limited resources too.

To be clear, no raffles, sweepstakes, giveaways, or returns on investment are offered in exchange for any donations made to this campaign. Only eternal gratitude and good karma :)

We will write updates publicly on how the project is going here and on instagram; if you leave your email when making a donation we'll make sure to send you a link.

Please consider making a substantial donation, we have faith that this will make a difference not just for Ermanno but for many people's lives he'll touch.

Like a phoenix rising from the ashes.

(After the fire: having tea with some of the survived teaware, it tasted a bit smoky)

Thanks for your help; see you on the road and at the tea table.


  • Anonymous
    • £200 
    • 2 yrs
  • Augusto Ferraiuolo
    • £10 
    • 2 yrs
  • Augusto Ferraiuolo
    • £10 
    • 2 yrs
  • Patricia Walsh
    • £20 
    • 2 yrs
  • Anonymous
    • £888 
    • 2 yrs

Organizer and beneficiary

Paolo Panda
Ermanno Arno

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