James Norwood Pratt

Author, Master Tea Sommelier

Born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and brought up on land which has been in his family since before the American Revolution, James Norwood Pratt was educated at Chapel Hill and abroad and published his first book on tea in 1982. He is the acknowledged instigator and prophet of America’s present Tea Renaissance and is quite possibly the world’s most widely-read authority on tea and tea lore, thanks to books translated into multiple languages and numerous columns, articles and print and TV interviews in US and overseas media. His landmark James Norwood Pratt’s Tea Dictionary was named Best New Publication by the World Tea Expo in 2010. He appears in several films and theatrical productions and lives with his wife Valerie Turner in San Francisco.

Classes / Sessions

Saturday, August 10th, 2019
Tea Sommelier: Apprentice

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
Wine & Tea

Thomas Shu

Owner, JT & Tea Inc
Taiwan Tea Ambassador

Thomas Shu, a third-generation tea specialist from Taiwan, where his family has been conducting tea business for more than seventy (70) years. He works with many major tea companies and premium tea importers from Asia, Europe, and the United States. With his proficient expertise and extensive knowledge in the industry, Thomas Shu becomes one of the professional instructors for World Tea Expo as well as a popular speaker at many conventions and educational institutes throughout the United States.

Classes / Sessions

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
World Tea Origin – Taiwan Teas
Taiwan Tea Tasting 

Reena Shah

CEO / Owner, Chado Tea Room

With humble beginnings, philanthropic entrepreneur, Reena Shah born in the Fiji Islands, has devoted her life to a career that has revolutionized tea drinking in Los Angeles, CA. In memory of her late brother Alson, who suffered brain damage as a child, she has dedicated Tea A Day for Siblings. Alson’s Tea is an outreach event held at the downtown location of the Chado Tea Room in collaboration with Lanterman’s Koch-Young Resource Center. She also leads fundraising events and sponsors many community organizations.

Classes / Sessions

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
Make the perfect cup of chai

Robert Wemischner

Pastry Chef & Culinary Educator

Pastry chef and culinary educator, Robert Wemischner has always been intrigued by the flavor potential of ingredients, from turmeric to tea and from cumin to coffee. Author of three books with a fourth, The Dessert Architect, a book for professionals and serious amateurs alike about how to craft sensational multicomponent desserts, to be published in June, Wemischner began his career to great media acclaim in the food business in the early 70’s as the owner of a pioneering gourmet-to-go shop in Beverly Hills. Drawing upon his exposure to classical cooking at a young age during informal apprenticeships to chefs in France, he has been imparting his knowledge to a diverse audience of students as a teacher of baking and pastry for more than twenty years at Los Angeles Trade Technical College. He has also vigorously pursued freelance food writing and has been a valued and regular contributor to Food Arts, Angeleno, Pastry Art and Design and Robb Report magazines, among others, writing on a wide variety of food and food business-related subjects. He currently contributes to Dessert Professional magazine and writes regularly for www.tching.com, one of the most widely read blogs about all things tea. He is also the author of The Vivid Flavors Cookbook, a groundbreaking book about fusion cuisine, Gourmet to Go on the business of specialty food retailing and Cooking with Tea, an exploration of the culinary potential of the leaf

Classes / Sessions

Saturday, August 10th, 2019
Tea & Cheese
Tea & Chocolate

Maria Uspenski

Founder & CEO, The Tea Spot

Maria Uspenski is the founder of The Tea Spot, whose mission is to advance healthier living through the everyday enjoyment of whole leaf tea. The Colorado-based company donates ten percent of all sales in-kind to cancer and community wellness. Their message is simple and powerful – tea in its freshest form is sustainable and renders exceptional flavor and unmatched health benefits. Uspenski is the author of “Cancer Hates Tea”, published by Page Street Books in 2016, and was recognized as the “Top Tea Health Advocate” at the 2017 World Tea Expo. She is often featured in the media for her success as a social entrepreneur and certified tea and fitness nutrition expert.

Classes / Sessions

Saturday, August 10th, 2019
Drink To Your Health

Linda Louie

Owner, Bana Tea Company

Linda Louie is the owner of Bana Tea Company, an online tea company specializing in high-quality Pu-erh tea. Linda studies under a renowned Pu-erh tea master in Hong Kong and has traveled extensively to tea producing regions around the world in her quest to find the finest teas. Linda is a frequent speaker at museums, public libraries, L.A. Tea Festivals, World Tea Expos, and private events.

Classes / Sessions

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
World Tea Origin – Teas from China

Babette Donaldson

Founder / Owner, International Tea Society & T Ching

Babette Donaldson, creator of “Sip for Peace”, author of The Everything Healthy Tea Book and The Emma Lea Books began her adventure with “real” tea as a graduate art student in San Francisco during the ’70s with a graduate focus on ceramic art. Studying the history and elegance of ancient teaware inspired curiosity for the beverage and worldwide cultures that celebrate it ceremonially. When artisan teas became more available during the ’90s, Donaldson found opportunities to study, teach, write and share her fascination with the leaf. In addition to personal appearances promoting her books, she teaches introductory tea classes both privately and at community colleges and is a frequent speaker for the educational workshops for World Tea Expo – U.S. and World Tea Expo – Korea. She is the founder and owner of the International Tea Sippers Society and the tea blog, T Ching.

Classes / Sessions

Saturday, August 10th, 2019
Sip for Peace

Alex Harney

Harney & Sons Fine Teas

Being a third generation tea lover, Alex Harney has been heavily involved in every aspect of the family business since a very young age. When he visited his first tea garden in 2004 his interest intensified greatly, and he discovered his goal to bring the natural beauty and serenity of the tea gardens to the public through informative videos.

Classes / Sessions

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
World Tea Origin: Teas From India

Johann Fernando

Owner / CEO, HVA Ceylon LLC

Johann is the Owner/ CEO of HVA Ceylon LLC, a company based in Southern California, Specialised in Importing and distributing specialty food and beverage products from Sri Lanka. Johann started his career working for his family-owned Tea company HVA Lanka Exports based in Sri Lanka. He learned his skills from his father who has been in the tea industry for over 40 years. Johann has over 18 years of experience in the tea industry, with a broad skill set ranging from tea tasting, blending to international brand marketing. His work has spanned several dozen countries and every continent.

Classes / Sessions

Saturday, August 10th, 2019
Diversity of Ceylon Teas

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
Diversity of Ceylon Teas

Dr. Sally Wei

Owner, Sally’s Parlor, Tea Sommelier

Sally Wei is an accomplished classical pianist and holds a Doctorate in Musical Arts. As musicians strive for perfection, Sally found equal passions in her enjoyment of tea. In 2006, she broadened this connection through the journey of learning Dharma. Trained in Taiwan and England, Sally embraces these two tea cultures through the philosophy of “Jing-Si” (Still Thoughts) in the understanding, preparation, and enjoyment of the blessings of Tea. Sally is a certified Tea Sommelier by the UK Tea Academy and has been teaching tea classes in San Jose & Santa Rosa for 13 years.

Classes / Sessions

Saturday, August 10th, 2019
Elegant Chinese Tea Serving Setup

Masayo Sebata

Instructor, Japanese Tea Ceremony

Born and raised in Osaka, Japan, Masayo Sebata fell in love with the Japanese tea ceremony and started to practice it at a young age. Masayo Sebata has been studying Japanese Urasenke Tea for 20 years and currently studies under a tea master in Osaka, Japan. She received her Kimono license from the internationally renowned Yamanoryu Kitsuke School. After moving to California, Masayo Sebata has continued to practicing the Japanese tea ceremony. She is thrilled to demonstrate in Los Angeles, the art of preparing and serving Japanese green tea.

Classes / Sessions

Saturday, August 10th, 2019
Japanese Tea Ceremony

Pujitha Ubayasiri

Purchasing Manager, International Tea Importers

Pujitha Ubayasiri, Born in Sri Lanka, has over 20 years of intense knowledge about Sri Lankan Tea. Pujitha will ignite you with his passion for his country by lecturing you on the basics of the manufacturing and production of Sri Lankan tea. Pujitha started his career as a Tea Planter and served in the top tea gardens of Dimbulla and Uva districts of Sri Lanka. After migrating to the United States, his tenacious work experience landed him on a glorious path. His knowledge, hard work, and dedication have earned him prestigious positions all throughout his life. Pujitha has just recently joined hands with International Tea Importers as a purchasing manager.

Classes / Sessions

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
World Tea Origin: Teas From Sri Lanka

Elyse Peterson

Founder, Tealet

Elyse Petersen is an advocate for transparency in the global food system and currently works with tea farmers to improve the quality of their products and access market opportunities. As the Founder of Tealet, she has made direct trade available to small-scale farmers, businesses, and consumers around the world. She is a food scientist and returned Peace Corps volunteer that is committed to building a sustainable future for agriculture and communities. She has a B.S. in Food Science and Technology from Cal Poly Pomona and a Japanese-MBA from the Shidler College of Business, University of Hawaii.

Classes / Sessions

Saturday, August 10th, 2019
Cultures of Tea Ceremony

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
Cultures of Tea Ceremony

Hannah Crum

Co-Founder, Kombucha Brewers Intl

Hannah Crum, “The Kombucha Mamma”, is a popular speaker about fermentation and bacteriosapiens. She speaks at corporate & health conferences, festivals and events. In 2014, Hannah and husband Alex founded Kombucha Brewers Intl. to unite and advocate for the commercial Kombucha bottling industry. Their award winning, Amazon Best Seller “The Big Book of Kombucha”, has sold over 100K copies.

Classes / Sessions

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
Kombucha 101

Pita

Founder / Yoga Instructor, Heart-Ga Yoga

Pita and Yoga found each other 15 years ago and since then, her practice has been a journey of self-love & devotion. She has made it her mission to share yoga from her heart with the intention of positively enhancing the lives of others. This mission has taken Pita around the world, allowing her to share what she loves in places like India, Africa, Germany, the US, and Bali. Her classes are a combination of self-exploration via a variety of practices such as bhakti, kriya, devotional chant, aromatherapy, and dance. You should expect to leave the class feeling refreshed, flexible and open not just in body, but also in your mind and most importantly, your heart!

Classes / Sessions

Saturday, August 10th, 2019
Tea & Yoga

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
Tea & Yoga

ShanettA McDonald

Dispensary Outreach Manager, Kikoko

Shanetta McDonald is a sales and marketing professional with more than 10 years of experience in creating and executing communication and revenue-driving programs in consumer-focused industries. Currently, McDonald serves as the Southern California Manager for Kikoko, the leading cannabis wellness company for women, overseeing the strategic sales and marketing direction in the brand’s fastest-growing region. McDonald is proud to be a woman of color in the cannabis industry and passionate about smashing the negative perception around cannabis use while shedding light on the historical victimization placed on people of color in the industry.

Classes / Sessions

Saturday, August 10th, 2019
Cannabis 101

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
Cannabis 101

Alvaro Olguin

Director of Sales, Waterfall Tea Company

Alvaro Olguin is a tea expert with over seventeen years of experience in the food and beverage industry. He was the general manager of Chado Tea Room for over seven years and gained knowledge of tea and the culture around it. Additionally, his passion for craft cocktails has resulted in some of the most exotic and sophisticated tea cocktails that have been featured in many bars across the Los Angeles city. Furthermore, his work with cocktails has been demonstrated by running cocktail programs for some of the leading craft cocktail bars in Los Angeles.

Classes / Sessions

Saturday, August 10th, 2019
Craft Tea Cocktail Workshop 

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
Craft Tea Cocktail Workshop 

Shamila Chand

Meditation Master

 

Classes / Sessions

Saturday, August 10th, 2019
Tea & Meditation

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
Tea & Meditation

Pamela Altahona

Founder & CEO, TayroTea

Pamela is a Colombian dentist, entrepreneur and healthy lifestyle and positive thinking advocate. She is an animal lover, enjoys fitness, yoga and has a heart full of gratitude. 

TayroTea was born out of her passion to share healthy and organic teas with a lovely company. TayroTea offers an unforgettable and unique tea-drinking experience. While you are enjoying TayroTea’s fantastic products, you will not be alone, you will be a with a gorgeous and colorful Hummingbird. 

 

Classes / Sessions

Saturday, August 10th, 2019
Tea Tasting (Espanol)

McKenzie Barber

Having recently graduated from UC Davis with a Bachelor’s Degree in Managerial Economics, McKenzie Barber has been thrown into the fantastical whirlwind that is “specialty tea”. With a keen eye for business and several years of leading successful marketing initiatives under her belt, McKenzie now takes on the specialty tea markets to advocate for Bitaco Unique Colombian Tea(®): an award-winning Colombian tea farm that produces organically-certified, sustainable, philanthropic, and delicious teas. After traveling across the Andes Mountains to visit the Bitaco tea farms herself, McKenze has seen the care Bitaco invests into not only its tea, but into the community the company grows their quality teas in. McKenzie is proud to share her unique tea experience with you, and to introduce you to one of the world’s newest tea regions on the map.

 

Classes / Sessions

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
World Tea Origins – Colombia

Isaias Saavedra

Tea Blender, International Tea Importers

Isaias Saavedra is the head of product development at international tea importers. He is an award-winning tea blender and has worked in the specialty tea business for nearly twelve years. He has done line development, blend formulation (flavored and unflavored), straight tea selection, marketing research, tea education, tea retail development, and iced and hot teas. He will be leading his own class at the Los Angeles Tea Festival that will be teaching people the steps of how to make their own blends.

Classes / Sessions

Saturday, August 10th, 2019
Build-Your-Own-Blend Workshop – $20

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
Build-Your-Own-Blend Workshop – $20

Nishchal Banskota

Founder, Nepal Tea

Nishchal Banskota is the founder of Nepal Tea which directly brings certified organic teas from Nepal to the American market. After graduating from Colby-Sawyer in 2015, he moved to his homeland, Nepal for almost a year to venture into opening the very first Tea Bar in Nepal with a vision to educate people more on tea and his unique business model. He believes the tea industry to be a social enterprise focusing on people and planet before profit and his mission is to change lives, one cup at a time!

Classes / Sessions

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
World Tea Origins – Nepal

Bhavin Shah

International Tea Importers

Classes / Sessions

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
World Tea Origins 

 

Amjad Pathan

International Tea Importers

Classes / Sessions

Sunday, August 11th, 2019
Benefits of Tea in Soap