2015 Seminars

2015 Free Festival Seminars

All are welcome! Free to attend.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

12:00PM -

The Discovery of Tea (Presented by: Kevin Gascoyne)

1:30PM -

Relationship Development in Coffee (Presented by: Cheryl Kingan & Liam Singer)

3:00PM -

Tea Blending 101 (Presented by: Ami Bhansali)


Sunday, March 22, 2015

12:00PM -

The Finesse of China's Wulongs and Blacks (Presented by: Kevin Gascoyne)

1:30PM -

Cold Brew Coffee, Revealed (Ben Gordon & Matt Bachmann)


Pairings & Special Events

Participation fees apply – please purchase additional program ticket(s).
Seating is limited.


Saturday, March 21, 2015


12:00PM -

Hands-on Home Brewing (Presented by: Clark Le Compte) - $10/person SOLD OUT

1:00PM -

Tea Course Fast Track (Presented by: Gail Gastelu) - $199 early-bird pricing until 2/27/15, $245 thereafter

2:30PM -

Oxidation Effects of Green Tea (Presented by: Shiho Kanamaru) - $12/person


Sunday, March 22, 2015


8:00AM -

Tea Course Fast Track (Presented by: Gail Gastelu) - $199 early-bird pricing until 2/27/15, $245 thereafter

12:00PM -

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

2:30PM -

Beautiful, Bold, Black Tea (Presented by: Joseph Uhl) - $12/person

** Additional seminars to be announced. Seminars subject to change without notice. Please check back for updates. Email if you are interested in speaking and would like to submit a proposal or have a seminar topic you think would be great to have at the festival. **

The Discovery of Tea
Presented By: Kevin Gascoyne, Tea Taster and Co-Owner of Camellia Sinensis Tea Houses and Tea Schools

This seminar is the perfect introduction for all; from the casually curious to the prospective taster. Attendees will learn the history and legends, the world's main producers, differentiation of the styles of tea, teaware plus the beneficial effects of tea. Discover the diversity of aromas and flavors while learning the parameters for achieving a successful infusion. It will surely be an invaluable session for both newcomers and tea-educators.

  • for tea enthusiasts of all levels

About Kevin Gascoyne:
British taster Kevin Gascoyne was weaned on tea and has been buying it in Asia since 1989. Since 1993, every Spring has found him up in the Himalayas, obsessively sourcing the finest seasonal leaves of the region.  Over the years, his passion for the black teas of India has spread to the plantations of many other countries. 

In Canada, he co-owns, runs and shopkeeps the Camellia Sinensis Tea Houses and Schools of Montréal and Québec City. He and his fellow tasters travel to the tea gardens of Asia every year to source their internationally renowned catalogue of rare and collectibles.

Kevin having written for publications in the U.K., Canada, the U.S.A., and Japan, still pops up in various publications and has co-authored a couple of prize-winning tea books including ‘Tea, History, Terroirs, Varieties’.  Recently voted World’s Best Tea Book 2014 by the industry in World Tea Awards. Kept busy with a wide range of workshops, conferences, seminars, research and field consulting activities in North America, Africa, Europe and Asia, his colleagues claim that Kevin’s daily tea consumption compares to the flow of some small rivers.


Relationship Development in Coffee
Presented By: Cheryl Kingan, Green Coffee Buyer, & Liam Singer, Head Roaster, of Café Grumpy

Join the Café Grumpy roasting team for a casual discussion about “relationship coffee.” Café Grumpy has spent the last six years developing sustainable partnerships with coffee producers throughout Central America and Africa. In this seminar, you will learn about the Café Grumpy relationship development program, get a brief history of the company, and taste some of the Café Grumpy coffees. (Photo: Mariano Mejia at Copo Mico. Photo Credit: Café Grumpy)

  • for coffee enthusiasts of all levels – business oriented

About Cheryl Kingan:

Cheryl Kingan has been working with Café Grumpy since 2006. She started as a barista, joined the roasting team in 2009 and took over the job of sourcing coffee in 2013. Cheryl has the task of traveling to places like Guatemala, Costa Rica and El Salvador meeting with growers on a regular basis to source Café Grumpy’s coffee.

About Liam Singer:
Liam Singer has worked in the coffee industry for a decade, first cutting his specialty coffee teeth at Ritual Roasters in San Francisco. His coffee adventures led him to Café Grumpy, where he spearheaded the founding of an in-house roasting program and currently holds the position of Head Roaster. Liam has accompanied Cheryl on buying trips to Costa Rica and El Salvador. He is also a licensed Q grader.


Tea Blending 101
Presented By: Ami Bhansali, Founder of Chai Diaries

Love your morning English Breakfast or 4 o’clock Earl Grey? Can't get enough of the zero calorie Chocolate Kisses or zen-like Jasmine Green… attend this seminar to learn where and how your favorite blends are created!  This seminar will discuss the “do's and don'ts” of blending teas together to create a flavorful profile, both aesthetic to look at and with a smooth after taste; how to select flavors, botanicals and fruits to go with the teas; and more! What is enough and just too much?! Get an insight into the day of an artisanal tea blender and if you are lucky, get your hands "dirty" in tea! A treat for all 5 senses, this seminar delves into the creativity and art of creating our favorite beverage, tea!

  • for tea enthusiasts of all levels

About Ami Bhansali:
Inspired with a childhood among the rolling tea hills of her family’s tea estates in the Nilgiris region of Southern India; Ami wanted to create a brand that expressed balance in life and it’s challenges. Chai Diaries is a young brand which started out in early 2013. The mission is quite simple really, to make everything better with tea! Sourced directly from tea estates worldwide, hand-blended in California and hand-packed to ensure the best quality, Chai Diaries is inspired by the beauty and simplicity of life on a tea estate. Previous to starting Chai Diaries in the USA, Ami has successfully worked in and founded branding and public relation companies in India.


The Finesse of China’s Wulongs & Blacks
Presented By: Kevin Gascoyne, Tea Taster & Co-Owner of Camellia Sinensis Tea Houses and Tea Schools

In Guangdong Province, teas are made from the leaves of a single tea tree. In Anxi, the famous Tie Guan Yin continues to be legendary. To Wuyi Shan where the amazing "rock teas" are produced. Demystify the diversity of Wulong and the expertise of its artisans. Immerse yourself in the world of Chinese black teas with "Hong Gong Fu", their methods of oxidation and a traditional tasting with free infusion. Discover the quality of the greatest terroirs and watch the production of the famous Yixing teapots.

  • for high level tea enthusiasts

Learn About Kevin Gasoyne by clicking here.


Cold Brew Coffee, Revealed
Presented By:  Ben Gordon & Matt Bachmann, Co-Founders of Wandering Bear Coffee Co.

Cold brew coffee is iced coffee the way it’s meant to be. In this seminar, learn why that is the case as the presenters chart the path from bean to cup to help you understand the cold brewing process and discover why it yields such great coffee.

  • for coffee enthusiasts of all levels

About Ben Gordon & Matt Bachmann:
Ben and Matt met in the Fall of 2013 when they both showed up to class at Columbia Business School with mason jars full of homemade cold brew. Naturally, this sparked a conversation, and they discovered a shared passion for great iced coffee. This formed a fast friendship, which soon became a business partnership when they launched Wandering Bear Coffee Co. in the Spring of 2014. With their 12-serving eco-friendly box straight black cold brew coffee, Wandering Bear is putting great coffee “on tap” in refrigerators all over NYC. (Photo features Matt Bachmann on the left and Ben Gordon on the right.)


Hands-on Home Brewing SOLD OUT
Presented By:  Clark Le Compte, Head Roaster of Toby's Estate Coffee
Participation Fee: $10/person

Have all your coffee brewing questions answered!  Spend one-on-one time with coffee brewing champion, Clark Le Compte, and the Toby's Estate Coffee team to hone your brewing skills.  Either a beginner or an advanced brewer, this class is focused on taking your skill set to the next level.  We will explore manual brewing processes using the Chemex, the V60 and BeeHouse drippers.  You will leave this class with more knowledge and enthusiasm, for coffee brewing, than you thought possible.

  • for moderate to high level coffee enthusiasts

About Clark Le Compte:
Clark Le Compte is the East Coast Regional Coffee Brewing Champion and Head Roaster for Toby's Estate Coffee.  He has taught classes on manual brewing from baristas to major grocery store chains.  His ethos for teaching is to provide personalized tools to create your own success.  



Tea Course Fast Track
Presented By: Gail Gastelu, Producer of
Sponsored By:
Participation Fee: $199 early-bird pricing until 2/27/15, $245 thereafter

Profit from TEA – Learn about tea this year! In four hours, your business will learn how to incorporate tea into its food and beverage offerings.  This seminar provides all of the knowledge you need to get started right away. Tea Course Fast Track includes: Tea 101- Learn about Camellia sinensis (tea!) What is it? Where is it grown? How is it harvested? How do you get it (loose or bagged)? Tea Experience- Taste and compare white, green, oolong, and black teas to understand differences. Learn proper brewing techniques and how to serve. Tea Uses & Health Benefits- Learn how to incorporate tea into your business. Tea Success- Learn how to successfully market tea and tea events to draw new customers. Tea Trends- Learn what is trending in the tea industry and how to stay on top. Tea Resources- Learn how to find suppliers, additional education, associations, and more. BONUSES: All attendees receive a flash drive with additional reading, eBooks, resources, and special offers worth more than the class fee. Taste and compare teas and leave with your own tea cupping set. Tea Course Fast Track ticketholders receive access to the Coffee & Tea Festival with their ticket purchase that day.

for members of the trade or interested individuals looking to add tea to their business; high knowledge level

Tea Course is produced by The Tea House Times (a bi-monthly publication connecting businesses and consumers since 2003). The online program is considered continuing education as running a successful business necessitates continual learning, reading, watching the news, and connecting with others in the industry. Members/students are worldwide and many have been successfully continuing their education from the comfort of their own computers since 2008. Over 200 topics, tea market reports, tea trends, tea news, 24/7 access, and weekly updates ensure continuing education.

About Gail Gastelu:
Gail Gastelu is Publisher of The Tea House Times and produces several other beneficial products and services to the tea industry.  Specializing in information management; Gail is a publisher, consultant, webmaster, educator, author, speaker, and graphic designer.  Gail also serves on the Board of the Mid-Atlantic Tea Business Association as Chief Information Officer and press liaison.  Since 2003 she has been working to connect businesses and consumers to all facets of the tea industry.  Her passion and drive is to help tea businesses grow.  Services and programs produced by Gail include publication in print and online; continuing education; tea industry directory, news bureau;;;;; and  Having worked with consumers and businesses on all levels, Gail understands the ups and downs of the tea industry and works hard to build positive business and deeper consumer connections through tea.


Oxidation Effects of Green Tea
Presented By: Shiho Kanamaru, Founder of Cha Do Raku

Participants will learn what oxidation and fermentation do to green tea through a tasting of oxidized and non-oxidized teas from Japan, as well as a rare Taiwanese fermented tea. The presenter’s innovative use of teawares makes this educational seminar an easy and fun learning experience.  Sign-up early – seating is limited. Tickets to this seminar must be purchased in advance. Attendees of this seminar must also be Saturday Coffee & Tea Festival Ticket Holders.

for tea enthusiasts of low-moderate knowledge levels

About Shiho Kanamaru:
Shiho Kanamaru was born and grew up in Kyushu, the southern island of Japan, where some of the finest Japanese green teas are cultivated. As a university student in San Francisco, she witnessed the considerable interest in Japanese culinary culture that was blossoming in the West.  Shiho began her quest to promote exceptional Japanese teas in earnest when she and two other gourmet friends co-founded the critically acclaimed French-Japanese fusion restaurant Toroli in Montreal in 2010.  They offered a popular collection of unique teas that inspired many customers to further explore their newfound appreciation for Japanese teas. 

In 2013, Shiho founded (meaning “tea decadence” in Japanese) in order to be able to permit other tea lovers to benefit from the relationship with tea makers, farmers and vendors, she had developed over the years based on their mutual passion for enjoying tea.  When Shiho finds a tea she truly likes, she often seeks out its creator to learn what other creations he may be working on and what teas may have inspired him.

Earlier this year, she was introduced to a few Japanese teas that have undergone oxidation processing, something more typical of Chinese teas and which is extremely rare in Japanese tea making.  The teas had a strikingly bright green color and powerful floral notes, yet still tasted like other fine green teas.  They were so mesmerizingly avant-garde, she had to go meet these daring tea makers who were willing to challenge the conventional Japanese tea market.  

Currently, she lives in Montreal, continues her quest by traveling to tea regions every 3 or 4 months, and hopes to share her knowledge through her unique tea tasting seminars, to promote the joy of tea.


Tea & Cheese
Presented By: Cynthia Gold, Tea Sommelier at L’Espalier in Boston, MA
Sponsored By: Sartori Cheese & SerendipiTea
Participation Fee: $15/person

Join Tea Sommelier, Cynthia Gold, for a pairing of tea and cheese to examine the balance of each in flavor, texture and feel. Attendees will be walked through four pairings of loose lead tea with cheeses from Sartori Cheese during this 90-minute presentation. Sign-up early – seating is limited. Tickets to this seminar must be purchased in advance. Attendees of this seminar must also be Sunday Coffee & Tea Festival ticketholders. 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.


Beautiful, Bold, Black Tea
Presented By: Joseph Uhl, Founder of Joseph Wesley Black Tea
Participation Fee: $12/person

In this seminar, learn the unique history, production, and nuances of black tea – a popular yet largely misunderstood type of tea – while exploring its often overlooked complexities through an in-depth discussion and interactive tasting of a flight of five black tea from some of the world’s most famous and revered growing regions. Attendees will be able to see, smell and taste the difference of each black tea and compare the differences between each. Sign-up early – seating is limited. Tickets to this seminar must be purchased in advance. Attendees of this seminar must also be Sunday Coffee & Tea Festival Ticket Holders.

for tea enthusiasts of moderate knowledge level

About Joseph Uhl:
Joseph (Joe) Uhl’s passion for tea began in 1992 with an undergraduate study abroad program in Malaysia. He parlayed his time in Malaysia into a lifelong journey. Through subsequent travels and stays to varying corners of the world – Europe, Russia, China, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia, and East Africa – he met remarkable people, many of whom spurred his desire to gain a deeper understanding of tea and tea culture. Eventually these travels compelled him to find and meet the world’s great tea growers, producers, and connoisseurs. These meetings enraptured him in the complex historical, cultural, and philosophical importance of tea.

Uhl learned the art and craft of the world’s great tea in some of the most notorious classrooms, including the ancient tea fields of southeast China, the tropical Cameron Highlands of Malaysia, the Nilgiri mountain region of southern India, as well as the colonial tea fields surrounding Kenya’s Great Rift Valley. Uhl has meticulously developed a portfolio of tea-related adventures unsurpassed by all but a very few.

This more than twenty-year journey not only brought Uhl to some of the most esteemed growing regions, but it also introduced him to some of the most revered cultures and histories of tea. From sampling yak butter tea with the Mongols in the Pamir Mountains of western China, partaking in England’s high tea in London, and cheering tea tarik competitors in southeast Asia, to participating in the age-old debate as to what Indian cities promote the best chai wallahs, Uhl’s journey provided him access to some of the most fascinating and endearing stories about tea.

In 2013, Uhl quit his job as an attorney at a large multinational law firm in Detroit and started his tea company, Joseph Wesley Black Tea. Through this company, Uhl has begun sharing stories that captured his heart as well as sharing some of his favorite teas from some of the most esteemed growing areas and tea producers in the world. Uhl’s book entitled: The Art and Craft of Tea is set for international publication by the Quatro Group USA in October, 2015.


Click here for past programming.