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Talking Tea

Conversations about tea and tea culture

Sep 16, 2016

What did Talking Tea do this summer? We went to summer school, of course. Tea summer school, that is. In August we attended one of the English-language Summer School workshops offered through the tea school at Montreal's Camellia Sinensis. After the workshop we sat down with Kevin Gascoyne of Camellia Sinensis to chat about current and emerging trends in tea education.

Kevin talks with us about Camellia Sinensis' model for tea education, how its tea school began with a goal of giving consumers better access to tea knowledge and how it's evolved to include programming oriented to tea industry professionals as well as consumers. We discuss the Summer School and the benefits of small, seminar-style workshops where students and instructors have the ability to share first-hand experience. Kevin also shares his perspectives on what students should look for in choosing a tea education program, identifying a student's goals and finding a program to fit those goals, the pro's and con's of certification and the ability of tea education to empower consumers and industry professionals for their own tea journeys.

We also sat down in the Camellia Sinensis tea house with four participants in the Summer School workshop to chat about their perspectives on tea education: Tea researcher/educator/author Selena Ahmed and chef Noah ten Broek talk with us about increasing awareness of the nuances of taste and sensory experience, and tea sellers Zhen Lu and Phil Rushworth discuss addressing misinformation within the tea industry and the importance of educating tea vendors as well as consumers.

More info about Camellia Sinensis and its tea school is at the Camellia Sinensis website, To inquire about next year's Summer School, contact Kevin Gascoyne at

More on Selena Ahmed, her work and publications, are at Montana State's Food and Health Lab website. More on Zhen Lu and Phil Rishworth's company, Zhen Tea, is at the Zhen Tea website,


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Talking Tea is produced and hosted by Ken Cohen. You can follow Ken on Twitter @Kensvoiceken. 


This podcast features music from "Japanese Flowers" ( by mpgiiiBEATS ( available under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license ( Adapted from original.