World Tea Expo
Pre-Conference: June 11-14, 2018
Conference & Expo: June 12-14, 2018
Las Vegas Convention Center, South Hall
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Education Committee


John Chaffey

John came into the coffee and tea trade in 1985, mentored by Jim and Bill Scandrett at venerable trading firm Hayter and Scandrett. Since joining Metropolitan Tea Company in 1992, he has provided guidance to young entrepreneurs in growing their business. His background in working with origin producers and connecting with international buyers provides a broad market view, whether dealing with small retailers or multinationals. Currently operating in over 50 countries, John keeps busy looking to cultivate clients and educate them with fresh ideas and new tea items to support the expanding trade.

Metropolitan Tea Company was honored with the Toronto Board of Trade Sustainability Award, as a result of its efforts to become a carbon negative company. Also, they were most recently the recipient of the Gold Medal Environmental Sustainability Award for Best Environmental Initiative at the 2016 North American Tea Conference in Niagara Falls."


Babette Donaldson

Babette Donaldson, author of The Everything Healthy Tea Book and The Emma Lea Books began her adventure with “real” tea as a graduate art student in San Francisco during the 70's with a graduate focus on ceramic art. Studying the history and elegance of ancient teaware inspired curiosity for the beverage and worldwide cultures that celebrate it ceremonially. When artisan teas became more available during the '90s, Donaldson found opportunities to study, teach, write and share her fascination with the leaf. In addition to personal appearances promoting her books, she teaches introductory tea classes both privately and at community colleges and is a frequent speaker for the educational workshops at World Tea Expo -U.S. and World Tea Expo - Korea (2016).


Brian Keating

Brian is the founder of the Sage Group®,a business publisher, think-tank and consultancy focused upon the specialty tea and natural products industries. Brian was the first tea blend master and tea buyer for Whole Foods Market, the world’s largest natural foods retailer and he has been a top-rated speaker at the annual World Tea Expo. He is widely quoted; his insights have been showcased in articles in both consumer and business publications, including Newsweek, The Economist, and Nutrition Business Journal. He also has unique hands-on experience at the retail level, having owned one of North America’s premier tea shops/cafés for many years, and has pioneered numerous retail and foodservice merchandising, marketing, and training methodologies. In addition to producing many specialty tea beverages, Brian was a recognized leader as the energy-tea category emerged during the 1980- 90’s, from the development of new flavor/active ingredient combinations to unique extensions of traditional marketing concepts.