More than 20 years ago, I phoned a gentleman who had worked in his family-owned tea business (founded in 1889) his whole life and told him I was thinking of starting a tea company. I had never even met this man. He spent the next 90 minutes on the phone with me talking about tea and the tea business. This was the first of a succession of incredibly knowledgeable, kind, and gracious tea mentors. Mentors is probably too strong a word: just people who knew a lot, got excited about, and loved to share their passion about tea . Oh, btw, Hot, Loose, Cheap, and Easy is NOT a reference to this gentleman. It is the name of a workshop we are teaching later this month on serving loose tea in a coffee-house.
Since then I’ve felt a karmic duty to share my love and knowledge about tea. Folks in the Minnesota/Twin Cities know we do LOTS of workshops and tea tastings at our three retail locations, on all sorts of topics. But, you might not know we do TONS of tea education elsewhere.
Later this month I will be teaching three classes at the World Tea Expo in Long Beach, CA. This is the world’s largest trade show for the specialty tea business. It’s not open to the public. It’s for folks in specialty tea or intending to get into this business. I will be teaching the following classes:
Tuesday, May 27 - What Should I Charge? This addresses the question of how to establish a retail pricing structure that ensures your business is fair, competitive, and sustainable over the long haul.
Thursday, May 29 - How to Source & Select Teas A primer for people who need help finding teas, and equally important, bringing them back to their hometown/business, and ultimately choosing the right selection for their particular business.
Friday & Saturday May 30 & 31 - Tea Processing: An Experiential Lab (I will be co-teaching this class with Donna Fellman of the World Tea Academy, one of the best tea educators I’ve ever met).
If you’ve never been to a tea garden before, we’ll bring the tea garden to you. We’re flying in freshly plucked tea leaves and then in a 2 day hands-on workshop we’ll teach you how to make black, oolong, yellow, green, and white teas. Read more about this class here.
If you're in Long Beach for the World Tea Expo, please stop by the TeaSource booth (#950), say hi, and have some tea. But wait, that's not all. Timothy Otte, our wholesale manager, will be doing a workshop at Coffee Fest in St. Louis. Friday, May 30th - Hot, Loose, Cheap and Easy: The Mechanics of Selling & Serving Great Tea
You don't need to be a tea expert to have a high quality and high profit tea program. This program will teach you the practical steps you need to take to implement a high quality and high profit tea program in any coffeehouse or restaurant. We will answer questions like: what are the most popular teas, how do I do tea without buying more equipment, how should my counter staff make tea, how should I market tea?
Coffee Fest is one of the leading trade shows for the specialty coffee and gourmet tea industries since 1992. Visit TeaSource at booth #326. We still have a number of classes through May and June in our retail stores; see our website for more details. During July and August we will be developing the curriculum for our fall schedule of classes/workshops. If you have any suggestions for classes, tastings, or workshops you have never see at TeaSource, please let us know in the comments.