Thursday, August 10, 2017


During the World Tea Expo, Tealet hosted a tea community gathering at their Las Vegas studio and I couldn't pass up the opportunity to make a long overdue visit. Thanks to Rie and Michael for letting me drop in early and unannounced!

Tealet is an award-winning grower network, founded in 2012 by Elyse Petersen.  Their focus is on supporting small growers and co-ops in eight countries, helping them to become independent and confident in sharing their high-grade teas.  They facilitate wholesale direct trade from tea farm to buyer and encourage buyers to speak directly with the tea growers and even visit their farms.  On the Tealet website, buyers and consumers can trace their tea from field to cup through detailed updates and videos in the grower's profile.  Visitors to the Tealet studio can enjoy a casual and informative tasting session while learning about the teas and growers they support.

Shortly after my arrival, a few more people arrived early for the event, so we gathered around the tea table where Rie began preparing and serving a broad range of delicious and intriguing teas.  

Some of the teas we tasted include:

Amber Red (2016 harvest) made by Sarad Subba of Hariyali Cooperative in Ilam, Nepal.

Moonshine, a hybrid white/green tea also made by Sarad Subba of Hariyali Cooperative.

Heritage Firewood Green made by Ishan Baruah of Heritage Tea Assam in Assam, India.  Rie presented this as a mystery tea and everyone is stumped.  Green tea from Assam is already incredibly rare and firewood smoked green Assam tea is one-of-a-kind.

18 Ruby, made by Alfredo Lin, is a cross with a native wild mountain Taiwanese cultivar and Assam.  Alfredo is a student of Master Aones, the tea master who made Taiwan's famous Ruby 18 black tea so popular.

Early into the evening, a New Mexico ceramicist dropped off some of his handmade teaware to try out.  He's still experimenting with shapes and styles and there were some definite winners like this yellow glaze teacup and a large gaiwan that was immediately put to use at the tea table.

The evening progressed and cups on the table multiplied as we were joined by artisans, bloggers, tea growers, authors, tea festival organizers, and more.  It was a wonderful feeling to be in this space, surrounded by people who share a love for the labor and artistry behind the tea leaf.  

Thanks to Elyse Petersen, Rie Tulali, and Michael Petersen for the great experience!

Tealet is currently moving from their Russell Road location to a new space in Chinatown. Their location and business hours will be updated when they're available.  Until then, be sure to visit their official website and follow them on Facebook.

Address:  Pending

Hours (prior to move): 
10:00am to 6:00pm 

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