I’m Suzette Hammond. Tea is my way of life.
For 16 years, I’ve worked as a professional tea trainer and educator. My experience includes more than 10 years in training management and education development roles for leading tea companies, as well as leadership in industry trade groups. You can view my full tea work experience here.
People will often ask me how someone gets into such a specialized niche as tea education for a career…
Well, actually 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 initial years with tea took place while also working in specialty coffee, and baristas and coffee roasters remain some of my favorite people to train in tea.
My personal background is also multi-disciplinary, influencing my growing passion for tea as a well being and mental health practice.
I’ve been a formal student of several tea ceremony traditions, including chanoyu, the Japanese tea ceremony. I’m also a Certified Psychologically-Sensitive Yoga Teacher (I completed my 200-hour with Room to Breathe Yoga in Chicago), and have been teaching tea meditation since 2010, bringing together two deeply therapeutic physical studies and philosophical traditions.
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 recognized for my work with the honor of a World Tea Award for Best Tea Educator.
My work to improve access to tea knowledge includes services such as: Private consulting, project development, customized workshops, online education, teacher training, and open to public classes across the country.
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