A Tea Master and Festival Fan Dives Into a Tall Glass of Iced Tea
The Lone Star Iced Tea Festival will be held Sunday, August 9 in Downtown Houston. There will be tea talks, classes, vendors, samples, entertainment, food, and, of course, plenty of your favorite beverage! Get Tickets Now
Amanda Vermillion’s dream of organizing a tea festival in Houston is finally coming to fruition.
Amanda has had a lifelong interest in teas and herbs. Growing up in Philadelphia, Amanda’s French mother introduced her to “tisanes” (herbal teas) as a child. In college, Amanda took an herbal medicine course to learn about the healing properties of herbs. As an adult, she has always preferred tea over coffee. She moved from New York to Seabrook, Texas in 2005 and started a tea meetup group (Tea and Good Conversation) in 2011 to explore the various tea rooms and afternoon tea venues in the Houston area with like-minded folks.
A tragic loss in Houston’s tea community inspired Amanda to take the world of tea more seriously: Thia McCann, beloved owner of The Path of Tea in Houston, passed away in December 2012.
Upon reading Thia’s obituary, Amanda learned that Thia was the first ATMA-Certified Tea Master in the state of Texas. Curious, she located The American Tea Masters Association’s website. As fate would have it, there was a Tea Master Certification class starting two weeks later in San Diego.
A few days before her first class, Amanda was chatting with some friends about becoming a Tea Master. A friend suggested that she name her business “The Tea Mistress’”; thus The Tea Mistress, LLC was born. Amanda’s original vision was tea-related events and talks.
ATMA’s Tea Mastery certification class whetted Amanda’s appetite for more tea learning: in 2013, she took a Tea Blending course from the International Tea Education Institute (ITEI) and attended the World Tea Expo. In 2014, she earned her ITEI New World Tea Certification at Onomea Tea Company, a working tea plantation in Hilo, Hawaii. The World Tea Expo made a big impression on Amanda. She thought to herself: “Why not hold a tea festival in Houston?”
Meanwhile, in Austin, great minds were thinking alike, as the saying goes! When Amanda learned that the first Texas Tea Festival was being held in Austin, she was excited! Attending that festival proved to be a wonderful experience. Amanda met the festival organizers, ran into some old friends from the tea industry and made some new ones. She left Austin with renewed inspiration and motivation as well as the good wishes of the festival organizers. Discount Tickets Here
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