A Learning Experience: World Tea Expo Educational Programs

World Tea Expo has evolved the most comprehensive tea education program in North America.

It is the place where professional tea educators come to learn. Where else can you spend time with Lisa Boalt Richardson (Lisa Knows Tea), Sylvana Levesque (International Tea Education Institute), Babette Donaldson (International Tea Sippers Society) and Victoria Bisogno (El Club del Té) on the same afternoon.

This year’s program sets the standard with a mix of science, skill-building and World Tea Academy Live sommelier training with World Tea Academy Online Education Director Donna Fellman and Lisa Boalt Richardson.

Education Director Donna Fellman

Education Director Donna Fellman

Fellman specializes in staff and management training and has authored training manuals for many well-known retailers. She studied Chado for 12 years and co-authored Tea Here Now in 2005.

Educational sessions with Fellman include:

Babette Donaldson heads the International Tea Sippers Society, an online resource for tea retailers that offers training in the operations. Courses include sessions on health science of tea, how to host tastings and fundraisers and special activities for children.

At Expo Donaldson is presenting “How Can you ‘Be More Tea’ to Sell More Tea?

Victoria Bisogno with Jane Pettigrew

Victoria Bisogno with Jane Pettigrew

In 2013 Victoria Bisogno and co-author Jane Pettigrew penned the Tea Sommelier Handbook in Spanish and English. Now Bisogno has introduced a series of videos to be shared with the club’s 285,000 members.

“The new website, available in Spanish and English, offers a wide range of activities in cities such as Barcelona, Madrid and Buenos Aires. Educational activities include certification courses, workshops, cupping and technical seminars, research and books with social activities focused on the enjoyment of tea: ceremonies, tastings, presentations, and, of course, tea parties,” she writes.

She is teaching an Expo program in Spanish called Cata de Te Paso a Paso (Professional Cupping Step by Step).

Instructor Nigel Melican

Instructor Nigel Melican

Nigel Melican is representative of a cadre of hands-on instructors at Expo. Melican’s 33 years of experience as a product developer has taken him to every tea land on the planet. He is an expert in mechanization and tea processing.

His topic: In 2050, Will There Still Be Tea?

That is certainly more likely if attendees take full advantage of Expo as a learning experience.