Our 350 graduates have included tea retailers, coffee shop owners, tearoom owners, B & B owners, restauranteurs, chefs, tea bar owners, flight crews, gourmet retailers, educators, clergy, lawyers, health care professionals, wedding consultants, yoga instructors and others who want to be immersed into the tea culture.


2:00pm    Gathering & Introductions

2:15pm     Tea as a Lifestyle

Tea is more than a commodity or drink. It is a way of living for a growing number of Americans looking for a way to infuse health and serenity into their lives.

3:15pm     Tea Tasting #1: White & Green Teas

This is the first of four sessions where you’ll be introduced to tea grades, countries of origin, and cupping techniques as we experience specialty teas from around the world.

4:15pm     Understanding Specialty Tea

We follow tea as it travels from the bush to the cup in tea gardens around the world.

5:30pm     Dinner on your own and free evening.


8:30am     Breakfast at conference center

9:00am     Tea Tasting #2: Black Teas

10:00am   Creating a Tea Experience

Hear how Shelley Richardson designed the creative tea foods and events you’ve seen in her three books. This session is always a highlight.

10:45am     Tea Tasting #3:  Herbals & Infusions

11:45am     Tea & Health

You’ve read Bruce Richardson’s articles on this timely subject in magazines such as Fresh Cup and TeaTime. Learn the latest on research studies being conducted worldwide and how you can infuse tea into a healthy lifestyle.

12:00pm     Class Luncheon

1:30pm      Food Preparation Basics

Do you know your “back of the house” from your “front of the house?” What agencies do you contact? What equipment will you need for a tea bar or tea room? How do you go about setting up a tasting program that works for you? We guide you through these crucial pre-launch steps.

2:45pm    Tea Tasting #4 Oolongs

This session includes an introduction to the Gung Fu tea ceremony.

3:45pm    Travel to the Elmwood Inn Tea Bar in   nearby Danville

Experience the retail shop and tasting bar at Elmwood Inn Fine Teas.

5:30pm    Develop Your Tea List

It’s time to put your new knowledge into practice. We will assist you in developing a tea list that makes sense for your business.

6:00pm     Dinner on your own in Danville.



9:00am    Staffing 

Where do you find staff?  How do you train them? And how do you encourage staff to share your passion for tea? We’ll answer those questions and give you tips to avoid staffing headaches.

9:30am       Educate Your Customers

Learn how you can host in house tea classes that will sell products and develop customer loyalty. Bruce Richardson has presented this class at World Tea Expo.

10:00am     Getting Down to Business

How do you develop a business plan? When will you make a profit? What are the start-up costs? What government agencies should you contact? We give you a CD containing a word processing program to tailor to your circumstance. Print it off and take it to your banker!

11:00am     Telling Your Story

Learn to build media relationships and garner free advertising. We share the essentials of writing your unique story and organizing social media.

11:30am     Closing Ceremony

Shelley Richardson wraps up your adventure with an inspiring closing ceremony where you receive your TEA 101 MasterClass certificate.

12:00pm    Dismiss

Tea MasterClass Schedule

(Tea & Etiquette students will join these classes through  Tuesday lunch.)

Tea MasterClass: The Art of Owning a Tea Business
September 18-20, 2017
Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, near Lexington, Kentucky

Tuition includes:
All classes - Monday at 2:00PM until Wednesday 2:00PM
Half hour private consultation with Bruce Richardson (future use)
Class notebook with all Powerpoint handouts
Comprehensive Retail Vendor List
Copy of The New Tea Companion by Bruce Richardson and Jane Pettigrew
Copy of Restaurant Financial Basics
Professional Teas Taster's Cupping Set
Five hours of tea tastings: all tea families and all major producing regions
Tuesday Breakfast and Luncheon
Wednesday Breakfast 
10% discount on Elmwood Inn Fine Teas and Benjamin Press products
Class photograph, diploma and press release

“There are experiences in life that help to define people....Tea MasterClass was one of those rare and precious experiences for me. Thank YOU! !”

- Trish Shenck

Who should attend?