World Tea Expo
"In my quest and thirst to understand the many nuances and attributes of tea, I have attended several World Tea Expos in person, the latest in 2021 - which was virtual because of the pandemic. I have also attended many classes and workshops pertaining to tea. I also have earned a certificate in the Fundamentals of Tea from The Specialty Tea Institute, an internationally acclaimed tea organization.
I have continued my tea education by getting personal training from a tea expert who has worked with tea farmers directly in different countries in the world, including Japan and China, where he has worked as a grower himself.
The companies where my teacher has worked as a consultant and buyer are two of the largest tea importers and tea sourcing companies in the USA. One of the companies happens to be the main tea supplier for After The Rain Teaze, has been in the tea business over 65 years, and exports 40,000 tons of tea annually. Tea is a lifestyle for me. I have a deep passion for this beverage, it’s like a companion to me. I try to drink tea every single day and read about it on a regular basis.
I’m fascinated by how a plant can have so much influence on health and culture. The process of how this evergreen shrub known as Camellia sinensis goes from the soil to the cup is absolutely astounding.
As a master gardener and co-founder and Executive Director of The George Washington Carver Urban/Small Farmers Coalition a 501 C3 nonprofit organization that works directly with farmers, I’m aware of how there are so many factors that influence agricultural commodities.
When I drink a cup of tea, I’m not only focusing on the aroma and flavor profile of the tea, I try to have a deeper connection. I try to connect to the farmer who grew the tea, the soil in which the tea was grown, the culture of those who picked and processed the leaves, and the tea master who tried to make sure that the leaves expressed what was intended."