The Origin of Nigiro

A young man moves on his own from Taiwan to South Africa at the age of 13 to pursue his education. In Bloemfontein, of all places, he meets his wonderful wife Lisa. Despite years of engineering study, eventually culminating in a Civil Engineering PhD in waste water treatment, he realizes that all along his true love is tea. Mingwei ran various tea clubs, tea-related events and ceremonies. Until meeting the next part of the puzzle.

A Canadian electrical engineer from Montreal worked as a program manager for Microsoft in Seattle, but fell in love with food, drink and travel instead of software. A terrorist incident in Luxor derailed his travel plans for Egypt, and accidentally led him to Cape Town. A lifelong passion for artisan products (bread, beer, coffee, cheese, wine, carpentry, and blacksmithing among others), years of travel, and many twists and turns later, led him to stay in Cape Town and open an artisan coffee roasting and tea company called Origin.

One Saturday in November 2007, at their children’s school fair, these two men, one serving coffee, one steaming dumplings…met. Over a pot of tea the next week at Origin, they realized they shared a dream to create a culture of tea appreciation in South Africa, and they decided to found Nigiro together.