The Experience Tea Studio Story
A small business and a tea journey both really do evolve and I’ve learned to be open to the process.
We’ve been here at the 195 Building on Front Street in Issaquah now for 3-1/2 years, having opened in October of 2011. We’re in process of moving to our wonderful new studio in the same building—more space and exposure directly on Front Street.
I’m Roberta and I opened Experience Tea Studio to help people discover tea—because most people have no idea what tea is. And I’m not kidding. Tea is the second-most widely consumed beverage in the world and very few people know that white, green, oolong, black and pu’erh teas come from the same plant species– Camellia sinensis (the word “tea” belongs to the drink made only from this plant).
But helping people know the botany and science of tea is only a small part of what I hope to do here. I love to help people discover all the magical dimensions of tea and to encourage personal tea times, family tea times, friend tea times, the connection to cultures of tea, how tea influenced history, the truth about caffeine in tea, how to research the reported health benefits…well, you get the picture. No one walks into Experience Tea Studio without learning something about tea.
I’m a Certified Tea Specialist through Specialty Tea Institute, and I’ve had the benefit of wonderful teachers and mentors in my professional training. STI is a non-profit that is part of the Tea Association of the USA and their mission is to train people like me to help consumers discover tea! Along with my STI Certification, I’ve traveled to tea countries: picking tea; making tea; tasting with tea planters and processors; and learning more about tea science at tea research facilities.
My passion is teaching my classes and witnessing the unfolding fascination as people learn more about this popular and complex beverage. I have pretty far-reaching goals with this too—because I feel (know) that tea can be a force to change lives…it has a powerful ability to open doors of communication whether its parents and teens, diverse cultures within the workplace, or just with an individual’s personal connection to self.
I guess I should also add that I sell really good loose-leaf tea. And I sell quality functional tea ware (no tea balls!).
Tea is not just a drink, it’s an experience.