Tea Masters Speaker Series
TeaSource does not have any upcoming events at this time, but we look forward to bringing you more workshops in the future! In the meantime, check out some our past Tea Masters events and learn more about the amazing people we’ve had the opportunity to work with over the years.
2018 – Mike Spillane
Tea Masters Series: Tea in America: One Family’s Story
Mike Spillane, President of the G.S. Haly Company & TeaSource founder Bill Waddington
Attendees sampled the same type of tea that was thrown into Boston Harbor
Mike Spillane is the owner of the oldest continuous operating family-owned tea business in America, The G.S. Haly Company. That history and longevity gives him a unique perspective on tea in America. This latest installment of Tea Masters focuses on the origins of tea in America, how the tea industry and the specialty tea industry evolved, and how it kept pace as America grew and expanded from pre-revolutionary times into the 21st century.
2018 – Nigel Melican
Tea Masters Series: Will There Be Tea in 2050?
Nigel Melican, winner of the 2018 John Harney Lifetime Achievement Award
This is an insightful talk with internationally renowned tea scientist Nigel Melican, founder of Teacraft, the preeminent tea consultancy based in London. Nigel will take us through a science-based look on the state of the tea industry in his presentation, "Will there be tea in 2050?" This Tea Masters event provides a unique opportunity to listen to, ask questions of, and share tea with a man who has helped shape the specialty tea industry as it exists today.
2016 – Chaminda Jayawardana
Tea Masters Series: Ceylon Connections
Chaminda Jayawardana, managing director of the Lumbini Tea Factory
The very first tea TeaSource ever sourced from Lumbini was a Silver Needles white tea
What’s it like to grow up on a tea estate? What’s it like to manager a tea estate? What tea country produces an incredibly wide range of prize-winning teas: from elegant white to robust black teas, and everything in-between, yet is one third the size of Minnesota?
This tea tasting and workshop was hosted by Chaminda Jayawardana, Managing Director of Lumbini Tea Estates in Sri Lanka and TeaSource founder Bill Waddington, whose great grandfather Augustus Waddington helped carve tea estates out of the Ceylon wilderness in the 1870’s.
2015 – Mrs. Hiroko Otsuka
Kokei Sugihara & Haruyuki Nagata, two Otsuka employees, visiting our Roseville office
Otsuka Tea Co. was founded in 1869 in Shizuoka, Japan, by Shinpei Otsuka. It has been owned and run by the same family for five generations. Around that same time the samurai were abolished in Japan, many of the Otsuka clan were samurai. Apparently, the next best thing to being samurai is to become a tea master. We had the chance to host the wife of the Chairman of Otsuka, Mrs. Hiroko Otsuka (a Japanese tea ceremony expert), and 2 other Otsuka employees, Kokei Sugihara, export manager and Haruyuki Nagata, sales manager in Minneapolis for a visit.
2015 – Rajiv Gupta
Tea Masters Series: Tasting Darjeeling
Rajiv was born on a tea estate. He managed many of the most famous Darjeeling tea gardens for almost 20 years before opening his own tea brokerage, and his knowledge of Darjeeling and its teas is vast. His resume includes time at: Longview, Seeyok, Phuguri, Avongrove, Jungpana, Ambootia and many other tea gardens. He has been an independent tea broker for the last 15 years. TeaSource had the opportunity to work with Rajiv in a Darjeeling tasting workshop at the World Tea Expo as a tasting workshop in Minnesota on the teas of India, focusing on Darjeeling.
2014 – Mrs. Zhang Liu Mei
Hunan Dark Tea
Mrs. Zhang and her daughter Joy visited Minnesota and did a Livestream event about dark tea at our St. Anthony Village store. Mrs. Zhang and her husband started a tea business in Changsha, China, in 1996 with a focus on traditional teas from Hunan province.
2013 – Thomas Shu
An Exploration of Fine Tea
Thomas Shu and his wife, Josephine Pan, with the TeaSource crew
Thomas Shu, renowned 3rd generation tea master from Taiwan and the “Ambassador of Taiwan Tea” (an official government designation) presented an in-depth and advanced workshop on Taiwan tea in Minneapolis.
Taiwan is known for making the world’s best oolongs and Thomas Shu is one of the reasons for this. The workshop explored a range of Taiwanese teas, but it focused on classic Taiwan oolongs by examining style, aroma, initial flavor, taste, and finish.