About the Tea Festival

2017 Workshop Schedule

 schedule subject to change


Saturday July 29


Lenny Martinelli10:00 am -Cooking with Tea with Lenny Martinelli

One of our most popular workshops, join Teahouse chef/owner Lenny Martinelli as he prepares a number of delicious dishes, all using the special ingredient, TEA! Participants will have the opportunity to taste each of the dishes prepared in this entertaining presentation

Lenny Martinelli – Lenny Martinelli is Chef-Owner of the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse and is actively involved in the daily operations. Mr. Martinelli has over 35 years’ experience in the hospitality industry from bussing tables to ownership. His company, Three Leaf Concepts, also operates  Aji Latin American Restaurant, Leaf Vegetarian Restaurant, The Huckleberry, Zucca Italian Ristorante, and his newest venture, The Chautauqua Dining Hall. In 2011, the Martinells purchased Three Leaf Farm, in Lafayette Colorado, in order to provide organically grown produce to the their restaurants.




12:00 pm – Topic TBD

Donna Fellman – Donna Fellman is Online Education Director of World Tea Academy. Donna’s experience managing tea houses, training staff, and tea procurement convinced her that the key to success was educating herself, her staff and her customers about tea. Since that time, she has focused her work on serving the tea industry’s needs by creating educational programs and classes, especially for the tea professional. In 2003, Donna founded the Tea Education Alliance specializing in staff and management training. She has authored numerous training manuals for well know tea retailers and educational materials for other prominent educational programs. She studied Chado for 12 years and co-authored Tea Here Now, (Inner Ocean Publishing, 2005) exploring tea as a way of life. She also has an M.S. in Holistic Nutrition.



Sooz bio pic2:00 pm – Topic TBD

Suzette Hammond – The peaceful Way of Tea often leads to great adventures in unexpected places! With 14 years of experience in retail and wholesale, Suzette Hammond is known as one of the most passionate, engaged and creative educators in the global tea industry. Suzette is the founder of Being Tea – an independent consultancy for interactive training, customized workshops, program development, sourcing and hands-on tea mentorship. She works with clients across the United States, Europe and the Middle East, including importers, wholesalers, retailers, fine restaurants, coffee roasters, culinary / beverage management and industry trade groups. Prior to tea, her original background also includes journalism. Suzette is also the Education Director for Tea Journey Magazine, serves on the Advisory Board for the World Tea Academy, teaches regularly for World Tea Expo, and serves as a judge for the North American Tea Championship. When not on the road traveling, Suzette resides in Chicago, where she also leads tea meditation, ceremony and mindfulness workshops at studios and regional festivals.



b53c94e681315b947d3cb46b8a88d9434:00 Pm – Poetry and Tea: Walking in the Footsteps of the Chinese Poets of Antiquity
This “hands-on” workshop will explore the rich tradition between poetry and tea, as given by the Chinese poets of antiquity. Participants will explore several poems (in English translation) by poets of the T’ang and Yuan Dynasties, some by Buddhist meditators and monks, extolling the virtues of tea. Moreover, George will share basic techniques of poetic composition, creating a safe space for participants to compose their own poems. Participants will share tea together and explore the subtle effects that various teas (white, green, oolong, and black) have on their consciousness and, thus, on their own writing. A seasoned poetry teacher at all levels for nearly 40 years, George has designed the workshop to be appropriate for both practicing poets and beginners alike. Join us to experience the soothing and rejuvenating effects of tea and explore the poet lingering within you!

George Kalamaras, former Poet Laureate of Indiana (2014-2016), has published fifteen volumes of poetry, including eight full-length books, several of which have won national prizes. He has also published hundreds of poems in anthologies and magazines, including The Best American Poetry, American Literary Review, Colorado Review, Denver Quarterly, The Iowa Review, Kenyon Review, New Letters, North American Review, and elsewhere. He is Professor of English at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne, where he has taught since 1990, and he has extensive experience teaching poetry in various settings and at all age levels for nearly 40 years. A tea enthusiast, George—like many of the Chinese poets of antiquity—has deep regard for the virtues and meditative aspects of tea and its relationship to poetry.



tea ceremony thumbThe Japanese Tea Ceremony, Chanoyo, with Omotesenke Tea School Members

Chanoyu, Japanese Tea Ceremony members will demonstrate the art of Japanese tea ceremony, and provide opportunity for audience to participate with the ceremony.  The demonstration includes explanation of the history of the tea ceremony and its cultural significance.  Dressed in traditional kimono, the tea hosts will demonstrate a full tea ceremony with narration.  The audience will be invited to join the ceremony for a hands-on experience as they receive tea and get a feeling of the Chanoyu (the way of tea). Ms. Hiroko Akima, tea sensei, and her students host the demonstration.   Living in Lafayette, Ms. Akima is an active tea teacher of Omotesenke Tea School.




Sunday July 30


workshop photo10:00 am – Blending Botanicals with Sara Martinelli

Join Teahouse owner Sara Martinelli in the fun and hands-on workshop to discover how to taste, blend, and create different teas. A short discussion of blending fundamentals will be followed by an opportunity for each participant to create a unique, personal blend and take home a tin of their own tea.

Sara Stewart Martinelli – Sara Stewart Martinelli is the Owner and Tea Specialist of the Boulder Dushanbe Teahouse and The Boulder Tea Company. She is a Certified Herbalist and has been blending and sourcing teas for the Teahouse for over 15 years. Sara and her husband Lenny also own Three Leaf Concepts. a local restaurant group, and Three Leaf Farm, an organic farm and horse boarding facility in Lafayette. At the farm, Sara teaches workshops on herbal medicine for both people and animals, as well as a variety of other homesteading topics.




Brian Wright12:00 pm -Taiwanese Oolong Tasting with Brian Wright

Brian Wright, owner of Shan Shui Teas in Washington D.C., travels to Taiwan each year to source the most delicious, boutique-style oolong teas.  Join Brian as he demonstrates and leads you in a hands-on experience of the traditional Taiwanese Gung Fu Oolong Ceremony, during which you’ll have the opportunity to taste some of the years’ freshest selections.  Seating limited, register early!

Brian J. Wright, proprietor of Shan Shui Teas in Washington DC, became enamored with Chinese tea while studying in Taipei and Beijing in 1989-90. He continued his hobby after returning to the U.S., and expanded it into a business in 1993 to satisfy his friends’ appetites for fine tea. Currently, Brian specializes in providing top quality Taiwanese oolong teas, Korean green teas, and teaware for their preparation.




See our 2015 Schedule

Children’s Tea Party