Can You and Your Staff Expertly Answer Your Customer’s Questions About Tea?

When a person goes to buy a car, they hope that the dealership and staff know about the cars they are selling. They want their questions answered so they can make an informed purchase. This is the same concept of a person asking waitstaff at a teahouse or café that sells tea about the options on their tea menu. If a customer asks questions and no one at the establishment can give answers, the customer will most likely go elsewhere next time for a tea purchase. The concept of knowing your product that you sell isn’t a new concept. Thus, the question remains, how do I become an authority in tea and does it make a difference?

As the director of World Tea Academy, I have seen countless times students sign up for classes because they are selling tea, but really haven’t taken the time to study tea. They cannot answer their customers questions or debunk the misinformation that a customer has read or heard about. They are losing customers to their competitors who can answer their questions.  The best time to get trained in tea is before you open your establishment or before you decide to add tea to the menu. However, it is never too late to learn and educate yourself and your staff about tea, giving you the confidence to be an authority to your customers.

Does Tea Education Make a Difference?

I believe tea education does make a difference, and so do the students that take courses at World Tea Academy. The feedback at World Tea Academy is overwhelmingly positive. We hear from students that earning certifications gives their business respectability and a higher degree of visibility than their competitors. Others tell us that the classes have given them confidence with not only their customers but also with working with suppliers. A common theme after taking our tea courses and earning tea certifications is that this enables them to train their staff and customers. It gives them a chance to educate their customers by confidently answering questions, and they are able to conduct educational classes and tea tasting with self-assurance.

Not only does tea training help with all those things, but it also improves the bottom line as well.  Once you and your staff feel empowered, there is an excitement that builds and your customers can sense and feel it. The more you can excite your customers about tea and get them to try new teas, the more tea they will drink and the more tea they will buy. Excitement is contagious.

Where to Start?

So, if you are thinking of selling tea either online or brick and mortar, adding it to your menu offerings, or you are already selling tea but don’t feel like you know enough, World Tea Academy wants to partner with you to become a tea expert. The academy’s Core classes are the place to start. They offer the opportunity to glean the fundamentals of tea. World Tea Academy believes the single most important thing a tea professional needs to know is how to cup teas using the professional tea cupping protocol. This cupping protocol is used all over the world to evaluate teas from origin to the retail market. The academy’s classes are not just online but interactive as well. All of the Core classes and most of the Advanced classes have class kits. Students learn how to cup teas and get feedback from instructors to help them improve their cupping skills.

Once the Core classes are completed, the academy’s Advanced courses allow students to dig deep into five different levels of certifications. The Advanced classes that World Tea Academy offers are not being offered anywhere else. Tea experts and professionals have united with World Tea Academy to offer their expertise in these Advanced classes. Indeed, students learn from the best in the industry!

Tea education is truly the key to the growth of the tea industry and your tea business. It's also critical that the next generation of tea professionals are educated, so that they can be prepared to be a part of the future of the industry. World Tea Academy wants to partner with the industry to help facilitate this generation and the next for tea expansion.

Editor’s Note: Be sure to download the new World Tea white paper, “2022 Tea Industry Trends, Issues & Innovation.” The white paper features the article you’re reading now, as well as others like it. To download the free paper, CLICK HERE.

World Tea Academy Director Lisa Boalt Richardson has traveled the globe extensively, researching and learning from masters about tea and specialty tea. Forming “Lisa Knows Tea” in 2000, Richardson has consulted with numerous companies and fortune 500s – including Lipton-PepsiCo, Unilever and Bigelow – to help them develop products and launch new tea lines. She’s also trained employees at major brands about tea knowledge and service. Overall, Richardson is a sought-out speaker, industry expert and educator, teaching both the industry and the public. She authored three tea books with her latest being Modern Tea: A Fresh Look at an Ancient Beverage (Chronicle Books 2014).

Richardson, who is often featured in leading publications and media outlets, was recently highlighted in Good Housekeeping magazine in an article on healthy teas; read the article here.

To learn more about World Tea Academy, visit

Plan to Attend or Participate in the
World Tea Conference + Expo, March 21-23, 2022

To learn about other key developments, trends, issues, hot topics and products within the global tea community, plan to attend the World Tea Conference + Expo, March 21-23, 2022, celebrating its 20th anniversary. The event will be co-located with Bar & Restaurant Expo, creating unique opportunities and synergy. Visit

To book your sponsorship or exhibit space at the World Tea Conference + Expo, co-located with Bar & Restaurant Expo, contact:

Veronica Gonnello
(for companies A to G)​
[email protected] ​
p: 212-895-8244​

Tim Schultz
(for companies H to Q)​
[email protected] ​
p: (917) 258-8589

Fadi Alsayegh
(for companies R to Z)​
[email protected]
p: 917-258-5174​

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