World Tea Academy Graduates Share Their Testimonials

World Tea News asked World Tea Academy graduates why they chose the institution for their tea education, and how they feel this education has helped their careers in the tea industry. These are their responses.

Lisa Biafore

Lisa Biafore

I chose the World Tea Academy for its reputation and for theconvenience of completing the certifications online. As a small Tea business owner,traveling for training would have been practically impossible.

I have found the training to be immensely beneficial to me and my business. I have been in this business for 7 years and have been mostly self-taught. The classes provided me so much more information and has improved my 'skills' so that I can better educate my customers. It has allowed me to better conduct my tea tasting classes and to add additional classes for my customers. It has also helped me to better train my staff.

I have thoroughly enjoyed each of the classes I have taken and amcontinually amazed on what I still have to learn. The world of Tea is so muchmore than I ever realized. I would highly recommend the WTA to anyone in thetea industry.

Celia Aceae

Celia Aceae

Afterdoing a very thorough comparison of many programs available for tea sommeliercertification and speaking to a few graduates from the various programs, Ichose the WTA because it had a reputation for being the most scientific. Iheard that it offered an in depth look into many aspects of the tastingexperience that some of the other courses did not offer, such as a study of thetaste buds and biology behind tasting, an examination of the chemicals presentin the Camellia sinensis plant, and an open discussion ofspecies, varieties and other botanicals using correct scientific names. Theopportunity to do some hands-on blending was given and the program relied lesson rote memorization. The certificate could be earned in two parts and had morecourses available to take after completion of the tea sommelier certificate.

Ihave incorporated some small things that I learned into my day to dayconversations and some courses that I teach. Overall, the biggest aid so farhas been in explaining my job to strangers as well as co-workers—saying I am aTea Sommelier helps people understand what I do a lot more easily.  

Cathy Roach

Cathy Roach

I have been a lover of tea for morethan 30 years. I gave my first afternoon tea in 1990 just before a trip toLondon. The type of tea was not important to me at that time. I loved thedainty food and tea pots and silver tea strainers and sugar tongs. Then I metLee Garcia of Tea in Texas Magazine and I realized I didn’t knowanything about tea. Unfortunately, tea classes from STI (Specialty TeaInstitute) were inconvenient and expensive, so I gave up the idea. Then a fewyears ago, I was talking to my sister Brenda who blends the tea for Lee. Shewanted to learn more too. By this time WTA was offering classes online so wesigned up together. I live in Dallas and she lives in Houston so we textedconstantly. They sounded really interesting and we loved how they sent teas andtools to compete each class. I am still amazed at how much we learned andretained from the experiences.

I have since visited tea farms in China, Taiwan, Korea, and Japan and was able to expand my knowledge. We have completed Tea Specialist, Tea Sommelier and Tea Professional. We will be working on the new Tea Blender class in March. The only thing I missed about the classes was there was no in-person feedback.

Al Murphy

Al Murphy

I heard about it through theworld tea expo.  I also wanted to continue my education within an areathat I had interest.

I feel that the World TeaAcademy has helped equip me to learn about the many aspects of tea. 

World Tea Academy Graduates from the Second Half of 2019


Certified Tea Specialist: Héctor Alejandro Jaime Félix andMichael Ovtchinnikov

Certified Tea Professional: Cathy Roach and Brenda Preuss

Certified Tea Blender: Terri Allmon and Patricia Dennison


Certified Tea Specialist: Anne Milneck

Certified Tea Professional: Katherine Kern

Certified Tea Sommelier: Katherine Kern and Marcela Iurinic

August and September

Certified Tea Specialist: Celia Carmen AceaePedro Oliveira, James Murphy, Jr.,and Raj Thani

Certified Tea Health Expert: Rebecca Leathers and LarisaPetukhova

Certified Tea Blender: Michele Abbott


Certified Tea Professional, Mia Belle

Certified Tea Professional AND Certified Tea Sommelier, Anne Milneck

Certified Tea Health Expert, Marisa Smith 

Certified Tea Blender, Darlene Pearce


CertifiedTea Specialist: LisaBiafore

CertifiedTea Professional: Larisa Petukhova, James Murphy, Jr., and MarisaSmith

CertifiedTea Sommelier: Piotr Miga, CeliaCarmen Aceae, Larisa Petukhova, and James Murphy, Jr.

CertifiedTea Health Expert: James Murphy, Jr.

CertifiedTea Blender: James Murphy, Jr.