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Lydia Kung

Lydia considers the best part of her job as a tea buyer/importer the opportunity to sample teas on a daily basis. LydiaWithout fail, even prosaic teas offer lessons anew. Her view is that enjoyment of teas should not be limited to rare teas; an “everyday” cup can still spark wonder at what the simple leaf can yield.  To be sure, there are levels of teas and those at the top deserve more time and attention. Yet there is a larger context for any journey of tea discovery.  The question of the best way to proceed from one level to another and points of reference in our tea experience are always uppermost in her mind, as should be true for the tea consumer, as each establishes their own benchmark teas.
She first encountered tea while doing dissertation research in northern Taiwan. The legacy of graduate training in anthropology means casting an eye beyond tea as an end product, and Lydia hopes for time to examine the lives of workers who produce our teas and local culture.  A stint in teaching anthro has also left its mark, and Lydia enjoys sharing teas with fellow tea industry enthusiasts and friends, for there are invariably lessons to be learned from each tasting, formal or casual, since shared comments help build a tea lexicon and give articulation to nuances. Serving as a judge in tea competitions provided invaluable exposure to prize-worthy teas.
Tea knowledge is the foundation for someone in this profession, and Lydia is happy that in her case, vocation and avocation are combined.  Tea continues to confound, and she considers this as one of its greatest pleasures.

My Speakers Sessions

Wednesday, March 20

9:00am PDT