2015 Seminars to be Announced

2014 Seminars

2014 Free Festival Seminars

All are welcome! Free to attend. Located on the Drill Hall floor.

Saturday, March 22, 2014


11:30AM -

Taiwanese Tea 101 (Presented by: Jeni Dodd & Thomas Shu)

12:45PM -

Specialty Coffee: Taste The Difference (Presented by: Johnny Steverson)

2:00PM -

Tea: People & Plants (Presented by: Emeric Harney)

3:15PM -

The Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony (Presented by: Elias Gurmu)


Sunday, March 23, 2014


11:30AM -

Pairing Coffee with Brewing Methods (Presented by: Aislinn Cullen)

12:45PM -

Women & Tea Through The Centuries (Presented by: Judith Krall-Russo)

2:00PM -

Milk Craft (Presented by: Jessica Bertin)

3:15PM -

Coffee Curtain Call - An Entertaining Look at Coffee (Presented by: Robert Galinsky)


Pairings & Special Events

(Participation fees apply – please purchase additional program ticket(s). Seating is limited. Located in the Mural Room.)


Saturday, March 22, 2014


11:30AM -

Tea & Chocolate (Presented by: Jo Johnson) - $10 -SOLD OUT

1:30PM -

Coffee Cupping (Presented by: Deaton Pigot) - $10 - SOLD OUT

3:30PM -

Tea Infusions & Enhancers for the Perfect Cocktails (Presented by: Peter Martino) - $15


Sunday, March 23, 2014


11:30AM -

Tea & Cheese (Presented by: Cynthia Gold) - $15

1:30PM -

Finding the Harmony Code (Presented by: Jeni Dodd & Thomas Shu) - $10 -SOLD OUT

3:30PM -

Coffee & Chocolate (Presented By: Elyissia Wassung) - $10 - SOLD OUT

** Additional programs to be announced. Programming subject to change without notice. Please check back for updates. **

Taiwanese Tea 101
Presented By: Jeni Dodd, CEO & Founder of Jeni’s Tea & Thomas Shu, Co-Founder of JT & Tea

Discover the fascinating and intoxicating tea from the “beautiful” island of Taiwan. Formosa tea, as it was originally called, has so many nuanced and various flavors that it can sometimes feel overwhelming, much like fine wine. We will de-mystify this tea by covering the five basic types of Taiwanese tea, discuss the terroir and processing that makes each type unique as well as taste samples of each type.

About Jeni Dodd:
Tea cultivates friendships, health, learning about different cultures and a deeper self-connection.  Jeni’s Tea promotes tea appreciation through education, tastings and providing high-quality, hand-crafted tea.  Jeni Dodd, CEO & founder of Jeni’s Tea, has traveled the world in search of the most intriguing and rare teas.  She has met with tea farmers in the peaks of the Himalayas; tea merchants whose families served the emperors of Japan; a 7th generation tea master, in a line of only female tea masters, in the mountains of Yunnan, China; and, she has plucked and processed tea in the beautiful island of Taiwan.  Jeni is a Certified Tea Specialist through the Specialty Tea Institute and an “American Tea Master” via the American Teamasters’ Association.  She has also apprenticed with the renowned Tea Master Vesper Chan of Hong Kong.

About Thomas Shu:
Thomas Shu is a third-generation tea specialist from Taiwan, where his family has been conducting tea business for more than seventy (70) years.  He works with many major tea companies and premium tea importersfrom Asia, Europe, and the United States. With his proficient expertise and extensive knowledge in the industry, Shu becomes one of the professional instructors for World Tea Expo as well as a popular speaker at many conventions and educational institutes throughout the United States.

In April 2007, Mr. Shu received an honorary title, “Ambassador of Taiwan Tea”, from Taiwan Tea Manufacturers’ Association in recognizing his dedications and contributions for tea industry.  He is one of the founding members and board directors of American Premium Tea Institute, which is now known asSpecialty Tea Institute. 

Since 2008, Shu has been continuously conducting Taiwan Oolongs Study Tour Program, an extensive Educational Field Trip for the International tea professionals to hands on study Taiwan Oolongs.

Shu manages his own tea blog:


Specialty Coffee: Taste The Difference
Presented By: Johnny Steverson, Director of Specialty Coffee at Path Coffee Roasters

There are many types of coffees on the market today but it takes certain qualities and processes for a coffee to be considered a “specialty coffee.” Cultivation, harvesting, flavor profiles, roasting, and preparation are just some factors that are heavily considered and very important in making a specialty coffee that is richer, more complex and better tasting. Learn about specialty coffee and how Path Coffee Roasters sources their coffees to provide you a delicious cup of joe. This program will involve a tasting of Path Coffee.

  • for coffee enthusiasts of all levels

About Johnny Steverson:
Johnny Steverson is a lead instructor for the SCAA and has over five years of specialty coffee experience, with a focus on developing programs for high-end restaurants and coffee shops. Johnny began pursuing a career in the food and hospitality industry while attending the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier Vermont, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Hospitality and Restaurant Management. After graduating he worked for In Pursuit of Tea as a restaurant tea consultant, but his love of awesome tasting coffee drew more and more of his attention. Johnny soon became the coffee and tea director at Blue Hill Stone Barns in Tarrytown, NY where he reinvented their coffee service by introducing new offerings, brew methods and barista training. After three years at Blue Hill and as an active member of the Barista Guild of America, Johnny is now focused on building Path Coffee Roasters into a premier New York specialty coffee roaster.


Tea: People and Plants – Thousands of Years in the Making
Presented By: Emeric Harney, Harney & Sons SoHo Tea Shop Manager

In this introduction to tea, join Emeric Harney on an exploration of the tastes of teas. He will show you the different tastes of tea and why they taste like they do, while providing an entertaining background on the history, chemistry and traditions of tea.

· for tea enthusiasts of all levels

About Emeric Harney:
Emeric is general manager of Harney & Sons SoHo, where he continues the family tradition of making great tea an everyday luxury for New Yorkers and tourists alike. Having grown up surrounded by the culture and family Business, Emeric has a superior knowledge of the intricacies and characteristics of many varieties grown the world over, giving him insight as head of marketing operations and event planning. Emeric is also becoming increasingly involved in blending, and has already created a number of well-received teas.


The Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony
Presented By:  Elias Gurmu, Co-Owner of Buunni Coffee

Coffee originated in Ethiopia and has a special place in the everyday life of Ethiopians. The Ethiopian coffee ceremony is a time for friends and family to come together to share stories and news. Social life often revolves around the ceremony – an invitation to take part in a gesture of friendship. It begins with raw green coffee beans, and after roasting and brewing in the midst of familiar conversation; it arrives as a cup of hot strong “bunna,” or coffee.

The coffee ceremony service will include traditional snacks that accompany coffee in Ethiopia, such as popcorn and “kolo” (an assortment of roasted grains). Additionally, coffee will be prepared in several traditional ways: spiced, salted and black.   

  • for coffee enthusiasts of all levels

About Elias Gurmu:
Elias Gurmu is a native of Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia. Gurmu has grown up in the Ethiopian coffee culture. His first job as a teenager was as a barista and throughout his entrepreneurial career he has had a passion for coffee. He has recently combined his love for coffee with his business background and founded Buunni Coffee and Café Buunni – bringing Ethiopian inspired coffee to New York.


Pairing Coffee With Brewing Methods
Presented By: Aislinn Cullen, East Coast Training Department Manager of Blue Bottle Coffee

This program will focus on pairing different coffees (blends and single origins) to particular brew methods. A practical brew demonstration will provide instruction on how to utilize different brewing devices. Using current Blue Bottle Coffee offerings and Clever, Aeropress, Chemex and siphon brewers we'll explain how we approach matching different coffees to particular brew methods.

About Aislinn Cullen:
Aislinn Cullen is Blue Bottle's East Coast Training Department Manager. She's worked in coffee for a decade, pulling her first espresso shot during the graveyard shift at a 24-hour bakery in Adelaide, Australia. She joined Blue Bottle in 2008, and since then has led Blue Bottle's East Coast Training team as they educate hundreds of baristas in the area. She gets a mini jolt of giddy joy when a new barista pours his or her first heart in a latte.


Women & Tea Through The Centuries
Presented By: Judith Krall-Russo, Food Historian & Certified Tea Specialist

Tea was introduced to Modern Europe in the middle of the 17th century and since then has had a positive impact on both upper and working class woman. Discover how tea affected women’s social events, dress styles, business ventures, and health.

· for tea enthusiasts of all levels

About Judith Krall-Russo:
Judith Krall-Russo is a sought after speaker who presents programs on tea and food history throughout New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. As a writer she has contributed to Gastronomica, Tea-A Magazine, and County Women.
She is a graduate from The Tea School, Pomfret, Ct. and has completed Tea Certification Levels One, Two, Three, and Four with the Specialty Tea Institute, New York, NY. Ms. Krall-Russo attended the Third (2002) and Fourth (2007) International Scientific Symposium on Tea and Health in Washington DC; Liquid Culture: Coffee, Chocolate and Tea in Early Modern Europe at Bard Graduate Center, New York, NY and The World Tea Forum in New York City.

In 2003 Ms. Krall-Russo began studying Japanese Tea Ceremony at the Urasenke Chanoyu Center in New York City and has attended special workshops in Chinese Gong Fu Tea and the Korean Tea Ceremony. In October 2010 Judith traveled to Asia for an in depth study of the tea culture of Taiwan and Japan led by tea master Thomas Shu.

In 2008 Ms. Krall-Russo was the guest curator for “The Elegant Eccentric Teapot”, a national juried exhibition held at the historic landmark, the Barron Arts Center, Woodbridge, New Jersey. She has been interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, New Jersey Countyside magazine, Garden Plate magazine, The Star Ledger and in February 2011 she was a guest on “Martha Stewart Living” on Sirius Radio. In March of 2012 Judith partnered with tea colleague Lisa Boalt Richardson to research, organize, and lead a tea tour called “Taste the World of Tea” for the International Association of Culinary Professionals, in New York City.

Some of Ms. Krall-Russo’s programs include: “History of English Tea”; “Tea and Other Meals in Victorian America”; “The Asian Tea Experience”; “Tea Traditions from Many Lands”; “Life at an Edwardian Manor”; “Ireland – Tea, Food and Folklore”; “Drink to Your Health – Coffee or Tea”; “Blueberries – New Jersey’s Wonder Fruit”; “The New Jersey Cranberry”; “Strawberry Fields in New Jersey”; “Favorite Foods and Libations of Past Presidential Families”; and “Fun and Food Along the Jersey Shore”. Her programs have been presented at: The Morven Museum, Georgian Court University, The Job Corp Culinary Competition held at Atlantic-Cape Community College, Metlar-Bodine House Museum, Kuzer Mansion, Atlantic Heritage Center, The Barron Arts Center and Williams – Sonoma.

Judith is a member of the following organizations: The Culinary Historians of New York, Slow Foods USA and Historic Foodways Society of Delaware Valley; Specialty Tea Institute, and Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association. She is also a popular speaker for the Horizons Speakers Bureau of The New Jersey Council for the Humanities.

Ms. Krall-Russo holds an MBA from Pace University, BA from Montclair University and AAS from The Fashion Institute of Technology.


Milk Craft
Presented By: Jessica Bertin, Education Program Trainer at Joe New York

The intersection of art and science is where you will find the keys to texturing and pouring perfect milk. In this lecture, explore how milk changes when heated and how to produce microfoam. Then illuminate what's behind that illusive, liquid latte art.

About Jessica Bertin:
As educator for Joe New York, Jessica Bertin enjoys helping others enjoy coffee. She achieves this by teaching the public and staff, serving at UES Joe, and simply discussing home brewing with friends. Before making coffee, Jessica consumed too much whilestudying International Relations at Wellesley College. She has also taken a prize at more than one latte art throwdown.


Coffee Curtain Call – An Entertaining Look at Coffee
Presented By: Robert Galinsky, Author & Playwright

Robert Galinsky is a 'New York Coffee Creative Muse' and invites you to join him in an exciting reading from his new book "Coffee Crazy" where you the audience are invited to share your 'aha! coffee moments' too with him! This is not your normal reading as it is replete with songs from Coffee The Musical, performances from his book, featured performances by the dynamic Shannon Hamm and your shared coffee moments too!

About Robert Galinsky:
Robert Galinsky is an author and playwright and his first book "Coffee Crazy: 140 'aha! coffee moments' from the Conference Room to the Cafe to the Kitchen" was recently published in December. He is the Executive Coach for all speakers at TEDxTeen and Galinsky is developing and writing a new musical with ambitions to go to Broadway, "Coffee The Musical". Galinsky has had his plays produced at: Yale University, The Kitchen, La Mama La Galleria, the University of Aberswyth and various other venues. He is Co-Creator of the Manhattan Monologue Slam, the country’s only theater slam, with shows monthly in NYC and annually in LA. Robert is the founder and “Principal” of the world’s only school for Reality TV – the New York Reality TV School – and he works with the Oscar nominated IMPACT Repertory Theatre. As an acting coach his clients include Academy Award Nominee Charles Mack (“August Rush”) and Hip Hop artist 50 Cent. He has also worked with actors Quentin Crisp, Willem DeFoe, Roger Guenveur Smith, and with Sapphire, author of the critically acclaimed Sundance winning film “Precious”. He is a member of the Screen Actors Guild, Drama League and Directors Guild.


Tea & Chocolate
Presented By: Jo Johnson of A Gift Of Tea
Sponsored By: The Tea Lover’s Archives & Anahata Cacao
Participation Fee: $10/person

Attendees will be given an overview of the history of chocolate and tea while sampling six chocolate and tea pairings discussing the specifics of each offering that make them work well together. Sign-up early – seating is limited. Tickets to this program must be purchased in advance. Attendees of this program must also be Saturday Coffee & Tea Festival ticket holders.

  • for tea and chocolate enthusiasts of all levels

About Jo Johnson:
Jo Johnson has conducted many tea presentations for over 10 years with a “passion for creating with tea.” She has done workshops at Frederick Café & Bistro and Press Tea (both in New York City), and has also spoken at the World Tea Expo and World Tea East. Johnson is certified through the Specialty Tea Institute and is a member of the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association, West Harlem Food & Beverage Association, and the Association of Tea Bloggers. Her expertise is in training and consultancy services for the trade and consumers through the development and expansion of: tea offerings, developing plans for growth/profit through professional alliances, community outreach, contactdevelopment and marketing.


Coffee Cupping
Presented By: Deaton Pigot, Green Coffee Buyer and Operations Manager of Toby’s Estate Coffee
Participation Fee: $10/person
Sponsored By: Breville

A coffee cupping is generally used at coffee roasters for green bean purchasing, quality control, and to educate. In this coffee cupping, participants will be guided through the full sensory evaluation process, starting from the smelling of dry fragrances and wet aroma to the tasting of the coffee. Attendees will discuss factors that affect extraction, build vocabulary, and learn about coffee in an intimate way. Sign-up early – seating is limited. Tickets to this program must be purchased in advance. Attendees of this program must also be Saturday Coffee & Tea Festival ticket holders.

  • for coffee enthusiasts of all levels

About Deaton Pigot:
Deaton got his first job as a part time barista in Orange, New South Wales, Australia, when he was just 15 years of age. He remained working in coffee shops throughout his school years, eventually creating his own position as a full-time Barista Trainer for a Wollongong-based coffee company. In 2005, Deaton left Australia to enter the Dublin music scene as singer-songwriter, where he took up work as a coffee roaster, learning to roast on a 5kg Probat. During his stay, Deaton acted as Chairman of the Irish Barista Guild as well as Irish Team Manager and Trainer for the 2006 SCAE European Team Coffee Challenge.

After three years in Ireland, Deaton headed to Los Angeles to work with Intelligentsia Coffee and Tea as a Roaster and Quality Control Specialist, earning his Q-Graders certification along the way, and judging numerous barista competitions. In 2010 he accepted a job with Toby's Estate Coffee, working in Singapore to help design their first Singapore outlet, a roastery cafe.

Deaton currently works as the Green Coffee Buyer and Operations Manager for Toby's Estate Coffee in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, at the American flagship location he helped to design and open. He frequently travels to origin, judging Cup of Excellence competitions and meeting new coffee producers, and is currently involved in a community development drive to raise funds to support educational opportunities for the children of coffee producing communities in Marcala, Honduras.


Tea Infusions & Enhancers for the Perfect Cocktails
Presented By: Peter Martino, CEO and Co-Founder of Capital Teas
Sponsored By: Capital Teas
Participation Fee: $15/person

Black tea in the morning, green tea in the afternoon… boozy tea in the evening? Put the kettle on the latest trend in mixology with this program. A tea connoisseur will demonstrate how to use Capital Tea’s lager beer enhancers, Vino Teano wine mixers, and Teateani cocktail mixers to infuse your favourite adult beverages with a unique blend of spices. Then, settle in to sample these five tea-infused cocktails:

  • Cream Earl Grey Black infused into Stella Artois

  • Harbor Breeze infused into Stella Artois

  • Presidential Blend infused into white wine

  • Talk of the Town infused into red wine

  • Dolley Madison Whole Fruit infused into vodka

Sign-up early – seating is limited. Tickets to this program must be purchased in advance. Attendees of this program must also be Saturday Coffee & Tea Festival ticket holders. All participants must be 21 or over – IDs will be checked. Make sure to have a driver’s license or passport with you when you attend the program.

  • for tea enthusiasts of all levels

About Peter Martino:
Peter is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Georgetown Law School, a former nuclear submarine officer, and a successful serial entrepreneur. He built his first company, a financial software firm, to $10 million in sales and 100 staff before selling it to a public company. A passionate tea enthusiast, Peter co-founded Capital Teas with his wife Manelle in 2007.  As CEO, he drives the company's strategic growth and revenue generation, leading the management team and directing financial operations, new initiatives, corporate infrastructure, and media relations. He previously practiced law in New York City at Quinn Emanuel, Urquhart & Sullivan, the nation's most successful litigation boutique. His multi-faceted career has included a tenure as Presidential appointee to the federal government's Senior Executive Service at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, as a real-estate developer and broker, and as a business consultant to companies in the high tech, legal services, and critical infrastructure sectors. Peter is a patron of the arts and an active board member of the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. His favorite teas are Organic Tong Mu Phoenix Lapsang Souchong and Glenburn Darjeeling STGFOP First Flush.


Tea & Cheese
Presented by: Cynthia Gold, Tea Sommelier at L’Espalier (Boston)
Sponsored By: SerendipiTea & J.Kings
Participation Fee: $15/person

Join Cynthia Gold for a pairing of tea and cheese to examine the balance of each, flavor, texture and feel. Attendees will be walked through four pairings of loose leaf tea with cheeses during this 90-minute presentation:

  • Aged Gruyere/Comte with Lung Ching Dragonwell

  • Triple Cream/Brie/Explorateur with First Flush Darjeeling

  • Aged Cheddar with Keemun of Golden Monkey

  • Assertive Blue Cheese/Spanish Valdeon with Lapsang Souchong

Sign-up early – seating is limited. Tickets to this program must be purchased in advance. Attendees of this program must also be Sunday Coffee & Tea Festival ticket holders. Pairings are subject to change without notice. No refunds.

  • for tea enthusiasts of all levels

About Cynthia Gold:
Cynthia Gold discovered her true passion for tea after taking enlightening excursions into the tea fields of China and Sri Lanka, where she uncovered the pure beauty of tea culture. Although many cultures in the East have seen examples of cooking with tea, Cynthia is one of only a handful to have brought, what she calls, "a culinary approach to tea," to the United States. 

Over a decade ago, Cynthia left the corporate world to pursue a career in the culinary arts. She began her education at Johnson & Wales University, where she graduated summa cum laude. She later attended the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York and Napa Valley, California for advanced classes in pastry, chocolate and baking. With this culinary training, Cynthia has cooked at a multitude of Boston's finest restaurants including Marais, Biba, Pignoli, Rocco's and the Back Bay Brewing Company. Additionally, she has first-hand experience as the former owner of Tea Tray in the Sky and Elements Restaurants which received numerous accolades including "Boston's Best." 

As one of only a handful of Tea Sommeliers in the world, Cynthia serves as an inspiration for the culinary team at L'Espalier. From poaching and pickling to brining and smoking, Cynthia is an expert in using numerous techniques to combine the flavors of teas and food to create appetizers, salads, main courses and desserts. She has also created a custom line of L'Espalier signature teas as well as a full line of tea cocktails. Cynthia has worked closely with the culinary team to create tea infused recipes which are showcased on the menu of sophisticated and modern New England-French cuisine. Additionally, she oversees the tea program which is a wonderfully creative yet traditional tea experience.

Cynthia's work has received multiple accolades including Santé Magazine's award for 'Culinary Innovation' and Women Chefs and Restaurateurs, Women Who Inspire 'Golden Goblet' Award for excellence in the beverage industry. She has been featured in Art Culinaire, Boston Magazine, Yankee Magazine, Fresh Magazine, Plate Magazine, Santé Magazine, Tea Magazine, Imbibe Magazine, Chronicle, The Washington Post, Improper Bostonian, and The Boston Phoenix among others as well as numerous publications overseas. She regularly enjoys teaching the concepts of culinary tea, including cooking with tea, pairing teas and foods and tea cocktails, to culinary students and professionals in the US, Asia and Europe. Her book, 'Culinary Tea' is currently available in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia and has received acclaim from both chefs and tea professionals alike.


Finding the Harmony Code
Presented By: Jeni Dodd, CEO & Founder of Jeni’s Tea & Thomas Shu, Co-Founder of JT & Tea
Participation Fee: $10/person

You have purchased a fine tea, or so you have been told, but you can’t taste anything but bitterness. Not to worry! Every tea has a “harmony code” – the correct balance of tea and water volume to water temperature and steep timing. By examining the leaf of various teas, we will be able to “read the tea leaves” characteristics which will determine each tea’s perfect steeping harmony. Never again experience an under or over-steeped cup of tea. Sign-up early – seating is limited. Tickets to this program must be purchased in advance. Attendees of this program must also be Sunday Coffee & Tea Festival ticket holders.

  • for tea enthusiasts of all levels

Learn About Jeni and Thomas Above!


Coffee & Chocolate
Presented By: Elyissia Wassung, Founder/Chick-in-Charge at 2 Chicks With Chocolate
Sponsored By: Barrie House
Participation Fee: $10/person

Are you a chocoholic and/or a coffee geek? Are you curious about coffee pairings but don’t know how to approach them? In this oh-so-delicious 90-minute presentation, you’ll learn how to choose the perfect coffee to drink with decadent chocolate. Find out how to properly taste the coffee and handcrafted chocolate treats individually and together. Discover what makes some pairings work and others, well, not so much. Take home pairing notes and suggestions for hosting your own coffee-and-chocolate party. Coffee. It’s not just for biscotti anymore. Sign-up early – seating is limited. Tickets to this program must be purchased in advance. Attendees of this program must also be Sunday Coffee & Tea Festival ticket holders.

  • for coffee and chocolate enthusiasts of all levels

About Elyissia Wassung:
What do you do when life hands you lemons? Well, if you're 2 Chicks with Chocolate founder Elyissia Wassung's mom, you by-pass the lemonade thing entirely and go straight for the chocolate! When a disabling car accident left her unable to commute to work, Elyissia's mom turned to making chocolate in her kitchen as a way to bring home the bacon! Elyissia would load up her shopping cart and venture down her Queens, New York, blocks going door to door to sell all she could, until one day some neighborhood bullies stole her candy and her money! She learned then that the risks of owning one's own business were greater than she thought, but by then she was already bitten by the
entrepreneurial bug and well-launched in the chocolate business!

Following her Mom’s advice to "never take no for an answer,” Elyissia knew she would follow her heart and make a change. Despite being in a lucrative telecom job while managing her chocolate business, Elyissia decided to get really serious about taking the chocolate industry by storm. She left her telecom job and has been happily immersed in the chocolate world ever since. Her goal is to bring inspiration through chocolate and to make 2 Chicks a household name that people will not soon forget!

The other "Chick" is Elyissia’s Mom, Barbara – also known as "Chick 2".


Click here for past programming.