The In The Field: A Course in Argentinan Tea Country will be hosted by three of the tea industry's best educators: Shunan Teng of Tea Drunk, Carolina Levy of Soy Te, and Ryan Hollibaugh of Pei Chen Tea Palace.
Learning from these three will truly be a memorable experience; their knowledge runs deep, and we can translate for you into English, Spanish, and Portuguese. One of the most exciting aspects of the upcoming February 2022 trip is collaborating on a global scale with these contributors! So without further ado, let's meet the hosts!
Ryan Hollibaugh of Pei Chen Tea Palace
Ryan started studying Mandarin Chinese with MeiHsin in 2010 after several previous humanitarian aid trips to China and began studying tea in Argentina with Mei in 2014. This same year they opened Pei Chen Tea Palace, a Cultural Center, Tea Academy, and Tea Shop in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Each year, they travel across Taiwan and China to source teas in small villages, directly from small-scale producers, both for their courses and tea shop, and continue research on specific teas, regions, and teaware. Ryan's goal is to learn Mandarin well enough to take the specialty University tea courses offered across China, several of which MeiHsin has completed in years past, upon which Pei Chen's classes are based.
Ryan and the Pei Chen Tea Palace team have been working on a non-profit basis with local tea farmers in Misiones Province. They've helped teach farmers how to produce hand-processed teas, taste tea cupping, and understand tea culture. This training has focused on small-scale tea-growing families, with the help of international tea enthusiasts who visit to help experiment alongside the local tea farmers in their quest to de-industrialize the industry in the world's 9th largest producer of tea leaves.
Carolina of Soy Te
Carolina is always hunting for alternative experiences that lead her to enjoy the culinary arts in every sip or bite as a lover of good food and drink. Her tea journey began ten years ago in a fortuitous way, exploring other traditional Mexican infusions, eventually leading her to delve deeply into tea. Since then, she has started immersing herself in tea courses across the globe which ultimately led her to China. Since discovering the wonders that China holds for tea enthusiasts, she decided to dedicate herself to encouraging responsible and informed consumption of the different alternatives of teas, herbal teas, and infusions. One of her main focuses is transparency and education in production methods, producers, the land, and the cultural appreciation that tea has generated through so many generations.
She founded Soy Te to be a home for this caliber of tea education and access for her home in Guadalajara, Mexico, and beyond. Sharing her knowledge and passion for tea, Carolina has built Soy Te into one of the most beloved tea communities in not only Latin America but the world.
Shunan Teng of Tea Drunk
Shunan Teng is the founder and CEO of Tea Drunk, a New York City-based tea company that has become the destination for those seeking exceptional tea and tea knowledge. Shunan is known for her relentless in-the-field pursuit of tea knowledge and her work in preserving Chinese tea traditions. She travels to historic tea mountains in China every year to harvest and make tea alongside the heritage farmers. She is an avid educator on tea and has spoken on the subject matter at many companies and institutions, including Yale University, Christie's, Van Cleef & Arpels, World Tea Expo, and Stony Brook University. Teng collaborated with the Metropolitan Museum of Art to execute a temporary Chinese tea house in the museum and is the educator for the TED-Ed lesson – The History of Tea.
Growing up in a household of foodies, Shunan Teng was lucky to be steeped in some of the best teas from a very young age. While tea has always been part of her, the love affair became serious when she quit her finance career in 2013 to devote herself to the mission of introducing the highest level of tea to the world. Teng hopes through tea, she can bridge the connection of cultures through taste with clarity and depth; and through cultural understandings, the world will become a more harmonious place.