Hello, I’m Suzette Hammond and Tea is my way of life.
I’ve worked as a professional tea trainer and educator since 2003. My work experience includes more than 10 years in training management and education director roles for leading tea companies, as well as leadership in industry trade groups.
My original path was journalism and the intense environment of broadcast news – which, I came to believe if you can handle live television, you truly can handle almost anything. The skills I learned as a producer in the control room completely shaped who I eventually became as a communicator and educator, although I eventually recognized the physical and mental toll of working in news was not for me as a long-term occupation.
I took a chance and turned to studying coffee and tea, which inherently seemed more peaceful, people-focused and thought provoking. Realizing the story of our connection to tea was actually the story that compelled me the most, I knew I found the place where my skills as a journalist would best be utilized.
Many years later, I’m still not looking back.
My personal background is also multi-disciplinary, influencing my growing passion for tea as a spiritual and mental health practice. I’ve been a formal student of several tea ceremony traditions, including Chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony. My spiritual beliefs align with both animism and Buddhism – Vietnamese Zen master, Thich Nhat Hanh, is one of my most influential and beloved teachers.
I’m also a Certified Psychologically-Sensitive yoga and meditation teacher, and have been teaching tea meditation since 2010, bringing together two deeply therapeutic physical studies and philosophical traditions. I completed my 200-hour training in Chicago with Room to Breathe – a uniquely integrated yoga studio and psychotherapy center.
I founded Being Tea as independently operated, education-focused support, not only for tea professionals and their partners, but also for budding tea enthusiasts and devoted followers. Through access to functional, meaningful tea skills – practices that can be demonstrated every day – tea can spark greater creativity, connection and act as an agent for positive change. In 2018, I was nominated by my peers and recognized for my work with the honor of a World Tea Award for Best Tea Educator.
“True belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.”
– Brene Brown