Monthly Archives: May, 2017

In their own words…Gabriella Lombardi

May 16th, 2017 Posted by General, Interviews 0 comments on “In their own words…Gabriella Lombardi”

Gabriella Lombardi, Milan, Italy, Chà Tea Atelier

For marketing professional, Gabriella Lombardi, forging a path for tea in Italy was no small feat. “Spreading tea culture is a stimulating challenge in a country like Italy, where coffee is culturally the traditional drink” shares Lombardi. Armed with ideas and a TAC Tea Sommelier certification, Gabriella launched her tea shop, Chà Tea Atelier in 2010 in Milan. As she ran her business, her passion for educating people about tea grew. Lombardi involved herself in educating consumers and professionals about tea as well as consulting and developing pairing menus for the hospitality industry. Gabriella also parlayed her experience into a teaching gig for Protea’s Tea Academy (Italian Tea Association) as well as serving as the national coordinator for the Tea Masters Cup competition.

Q+A with Gabriella Lombardi


What is your earliest memory of tea? I fell in love with tea when I was studying at the University of Granada (Spain) and discovered tea leaves; something unusual in Italy.

Favourite TAC Tea Sommelier module? Tea 105 and Tea 107. Tea 105 was rich in technical details and a sound introduction to cultivation. Tea 107 deepened my knowledge about pairing and cooking with tea, one of my passions.

If you could drink two teas what would you drink? Chinese and Japanese green teas such as Long Jing, Sencha and Uji Matcha and oolong teas such as Chinese Da Hong Pao, or Taiwanese Alishan and Dong Ding are among my favourites.

Where in the world has tea played a role in your travels? I visited a beautiful tea garden in Boseong, South Korea. However, the best place to enjoy a good cup of tea is in my living room with family or with my best friends.

What is next for you? I’m a volcano of ideas, so I’m always up to something. I would like to travel more and maybe to find the time to write my second book on tea. My first book “Tea Sommelier” (published by White Star – DeAgostini in 2013), gave me great satisfaction.

Have you always worked in the tea industry?  Until 2009 I worked in marketing activities for different advertising agencies, leaders in the Italian scenario of communication. However, my real passion has always been tea and the cultural aspects and rituals related to the world of tea. In 2010 I changed my life and I founded Chà Tea Atelier, the first tea shop in Milan with a tea room, specialized in high quality loose leaf teas and flavoured & herbal teas.  In recent months I have also had the honor of being Tea Instructor of Protea’s Tea Academy for TAC TEA SOMMELIERTM/SM Certification Program in partnership with Tea Association of Canada.

For Protea (Italian Tea Association) I’m also the national coordinator for Tea Masters Cup competition.


In their own words…David Pasieka

May 5th, 2017 Posted by General, Interviews 0 comments on “In their own words…David Pasieka”

David Pasieka, Vancouver Island, British Columbia {Teartisan –}

For tea enthusiast and collector of high end, specialty teas, David Pasieka, the TAC Tea Sommelier certification both deepened his knowledge about his favourite drink as well as launched a new professional path. “In addition to providing a foundation to explore all facets of the tea industry, the course helped me turn my personal passion into a new career” says David. He is in the process of launching a new tea house on Vancouver Island in the near future called

Q+A with David Pasieka:

What is your earliest memory of tea? The first time I tasted tea was at my aunt’s house; she used to drink tea the British way: brewed black tea with milk and sugar. However, when I was seven years old, I remember dining at a local family restaurant that served Bigelow tea. My parents let me order a tea of my choice and I chose Bigelow’s famous Constant Commet. From then on, tea lover was born.

Favourite TAC Tea Sommelier module? TEA106: Preparation, Consumption, and Health. It provided an overview of global tea traditions, which is interesting as I am fascinated by different ways people consume tea around the world.

If you could drink two teas what would you drink? The first one is an exclusive from Camellia Sinensis in Montreal. Nan Mei Wild Tree Budsis a white tea sourced from the Nan Mei valley in China’s Yunnan province, and it consists entirely of golden buds harvested from wild tea trees growing in the region. Next is Meng Ding Huang Ya, the most expensive yellow tea on the market. It is bright, rich, and full, with a creamy mouth feel and a flavour with notes of hazelnut, vanilla, and honey butter.

Where in the world has tea played a role in your travels? This past summer, I attended the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, and a two-day tea intensive at Camellia Sinsensis in Montreal. But one place that is very special is Tao of Tea’s Tower of Cosmic Reflections teahouse located in the Lan Su Chinese Garden in Portland, Oregon. This is a beautiful, Chinese-style teahouse that looks straight on the majesty of the garden. Tao of Tea offers a wide variety of superb, origin-selected teas as well as traditional food items.

What is next for you? I am moving closer to the launch of my own teahouse and retail shop called Teartisan ( in 2017.

 In what capacity are you currently working in the tea industry?  I am currently in the final planning stages for opening my own teahouse on Vancouver Island. The location is not yet finalized, but I have my eye on a few specific places which I will narrow down when I visit next month.

 What role did the TAC certification play in your career? My TAC Certification was a major turning point for me at a time when I needed to find a new career path for myself. In addition to giving me a foundation in the history, production, classification, identification, traditions, and preparation of tea, it also showed me that I could , in fact, make a move into the industry and turn my personal passion into something more.

What are some of the highlights and challenges presented with working in the tea industry today? Being unique and finding your niche can be a challenge, especially with bigger tea retail players such as DavidsTea and Teavana that have such a huge presence in the minds of consumers. But I also think there is a lot of room for more players of various types in the industry. Although the public has really started to embrace specialty tea in a big way, it’s nowhere near where other beverages such as coffee and soft drinks are yet.

 What current trends in the tea industry excite you the most? The fact that, especially in Canada, tea seems to be in many people’s minds in a way it hasn’t been in a very long time. People seem to be discovering that tea is more than simply an alternate to coffee, and that there is much more to tea than generic black tea bags. I’m also very interested in the embracing of tea by chefs and mixologists as a quality, versitile, and delicious ingredient in meals, desserts, and cocktails.