New Children’s Book Uncovers the Magic of Tea

On September 1st, Master Davey and the Magic Tea House will be released nationwide. This magical adventure book will take children into the fantastic world of tea. This children’s book was co-authored by David De Candia, Director of Tea at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, and author Susan Chodakiewitz.

Main character Hopper Smith is a boy who spends his time watching Master Davey blend various ancient teas instead of the typical activities of kids his age, like playing tag and riding bikes. These experiences are all the more exciting as he learns to unleash the power of his imagination and follow his heart.  However, Master Davey’s precious Blue Tiger Tea will soon disappear from the world forever. Can Hopper Smith, a boy with the power to unlock the stories hidden in the tea, find the courage to face the fierce Blue Tiger and save the tea.BookGiftSet

Master Davey and the Magic Tea House teaches children the importance of using their senses of taste, smell, touch, and sound to experience the world around them. Fueling imagination and creativity, this book hopes to foster a love of reading and tea in children.

“When our collaboration began, David and I talked a lot about why a children’s book? David and I felt that children would best understand the connection between tea and story,” says Chodakiewitz and De Candia.  “A child’s mind is wide open and full of curiosity. David often said to me that each time he travels to a faraway exotic place to taste a new tea blend he feels like a kid about to embark on a magical journey.  What better way to share this experience than through creating a children’s book!”

With central themes of self-acceptance and imagining the impossible, Master Davey and the Magic Tea House presents kindness, bravery and wisdom as ideal virtues.

Available for purchase on September 1st 2013 at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf stores in the United States, the book will be sold on its own, as well as in a gift set with Blue Tiger Tea. Children will be able to read this magical tale then drink the tea that Hopper and Camellia enjoyed in the story.

Who is Susan Chodakiewitz?

Born in Havana, and raised in New York, Susan Chodakiewitz grew up hearing a cacophony of Russian, Spanish, English and Yiddish. Her Grandma cooked the family meals and nourished the family with her aromatic Aroz con Pollo and cure-all Jewish chicken soup. Trained in piano, voice and musical theater, Chodakiewtiz went the obvious path of Pharmacy school, obvious to her Cuban/Jewish pharmacist mom. But her creative spark could not be contained. First she dabbled in baby making (3 boys), then went on to song writing, writing and producing musical theater and finally to writing children’s books.  In 2009, Susan founded Booksicals, encouraging reading through the arts. Booksicals debuted Susan’s first picture book: Too Many Visitors for One Little House, as a book and children’s musical at schools, libraries and museums.

Susan lives in Los Angeles with her husband of 27 years and is the proud mother of 3 man cubs. See more about Susan here.

Who is David De Candia?

David De Candia is the Production Manager & Tea Buyer for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.  With both a personal and professional passion for tea, De Candia is solely responsible for the company’s tea research, buying, blending and packaging. He supervises tea production and a staff of sixteen employees. He hand selects the finest teas from across the globe, and has traveled to tea estates in India, Japan, and Sri Lanka, as well as coffee estates in Costa Rica as a part of his work and development for The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf®.

Mr. De Candia is a member of the world renowned Specialty Tea Institute and has received awards for the tea forums he has led on their behalf.  He is often a valued member of the evaluation panel of the North American Tea Championship and a contributor to The Tea & Coffee Trade Journal. De Candia graduated from California State University of Northridge and currently resides in Los Angeles.

Who is Kent Yoshimura?

Illustrator Kent Yoshimura was raised in a house full of friendly, well-disguised monsters. Therefore, he occasionally roars and chomps at random things. When he is not out ravaging the town, Kent travels to distant places to draw, film, or act crazy. See more of his work at

Learn more about Master Davey and the Magic Tea House.