Pioneer Members

Our Pioneer Members, are the first Tea Fellows and Tea Catalysts to join our association. We really appreciate their early trust and support, when we were just at the beginning of the path.  Thanks to them we were able to build a global Japanese tea community and start many new tea initiatives. We are proud to introduce them here.


Ian Chun
Tea Catalyst
Matsu seduced Ian into the tea industry in 2010, and he began promoting Japanese tea farmers and small factories globally establishing as an online platform in 2013. now offers a thousand teas from over a hundred Japanese tea producers.
George Guttridge-Smith
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Tea Fellow
George's fascination with tea started nearly 10 years ago. Since 2019 he has been working at Obubu Tea and leading several creative tea projects.
Yasuharu Matsumoto
Global Japanese Tea Association,
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Tea Catalyst
Matsumoto is one of our association founders. He has been working with Japanese tea since 2004, has been focusing on bringing Japanese tea to the world
Ryo Morisaki
Morifuku Chaen
Tea Fellow
Ryo is the first generation tea farmer in Wazuka, Kyoto. He focuses on making natural tea that is good for people and the environment.
Moe Nakashima 
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Tea Fellow
Moe has a passion for tea and tourism. She has been working at Obubu Tea since 2019 and has been helping to manage several ta tourism activities.
Simona Suzuki (Zavadckyte)
Global Japanese Tea Association,
Kyoto Obubu Tea Farms
Tea Catalyst
Simona is one of our association founders. She has been working with Japanese Tea since 2013. Her focus is on making Japanese tea more open and accessible to the world
Noriyasu Uejima
Uejima Sourokuen
Tea Fellow
Uejima-san is a 5th generation tea farmer in Wazuka, Kyoto. He makes high-grade teas including Matcha and Gyokuro
Jun Watanabe
Deai Noen
Tea Catalyst
Jun is the fourth generation tea farmer from Shimada, Shizuoka. He mostly makes deep steamed tea - fukamushicha, but he has also been experimenting with other kinds like Wakoucha, Oolongcha.


Bonnie Robin
Parlor Tea
Tea Fellow
Bonnie is the co-founder of Parlor Tea, a Melbourne based tea brand, that focuses on organic green tea.


Erik De Keersmaecker 
Tea Fellow
Erik is a certified ITMA Tea Sommelier. He has been fascinated by Wakoucha and has built the whole website for it.
Sofie Vercauteren
Tea Fellow
Sofie spent nearly a year travelling through Asia and learning about tea. Now she teaches about tea to others and organizes trips to tea regions. 


Lee Jolliffe
University of New Brunswick
Tea Fellow
Lee is a professor of hospitality and tourism. She has been deeply interested in tea tourism and has also published a book about it 'Tea and Tourism'.
Han Le
 Salon de Thé Oasis
Tea Catalyst
Han is a founder and the owner of Salon de The Oasis in Montreal, Canada. Han is deeply invested in tea education, and over the years has held many workshops and events
Francois Mathieu
Tea Fellow
Francois is a founder of and is working on introducing Japanese roasted tea all across North America.


China Teacora
Tea Fellow


 Lucie Pinzano
Tea Fellow
Lucie has a great passion for Japanese tea. A few years ago she travelled across Japan to experience and learn more about Japanese tea.


Susanne Lang
Horenso Consulting
Tea Fellow
Susanne is the founder of Horenso Consulting. Combining her experience in hospitality sector and her interest in tea, she is working to help other businesses succeed. More here.
Beatriz Rodriguez
Tea Fellow
Beatriz has been passionate about Japanese tea for a long time and she is looking for new ways how to help introduce it more in Germany
Olesia Rudolf
Tea Fellow


Jose Guillermo
Te Invito
Tea Fellow
At the age of 17 Jose founded a tea company,  and is working on re-culturalizing people in the coffee country -Honduras towards tea.


Sara Cherchi
Tea Fellow
Sara's passion for Japanese tea started during her university years. She lived in Osaka for several years and hopes to start a tea business in the near future. More here.


Maria Giulia Rigon
Tea Fellow
While working with languages professionally Maria has a great passion for tea and has been collaborating with local teashops in holding tea events.


 Caren Chawa
Tea Fellow
While professionally involved in a different field Caren has been a tea lover for a long time and in future hopes to have her own teashop.


Andri Ciang
Tea Fellow
Andri is the founder of Hojichaya. He works on promoting Hojicha and other Japanese teas in Malaysia.


Sharee Mae Te
Chingkee Tea
Tea Fellow
Sharee is the founder of Chingkee Tea. She started her tea business at the age of 21 and now runs 4 locations.


Maarten Roos
Lightcurve Films
Tea Fellow
Maarten's background is in science and film making. He also loves tea, of course, and is looking for ways to combine these passions.


Julie Wang
Tea Fellow
Julie has been involved in several tea education and consulting projects. She is also a graduate of the Japanese Tea Master Course


Anna Poian
Global Japanese Tea Association,
Mindful Teas
Tea Catalyst
Anna is one of our association founders. By attending tea festivals and holding tea workshops she has been introducing Japanese tea throughout Europe.


Xenia Bianco
Japanese Tea Hub
Tea Fellow
Xenia is the founder of the Japanese Tea Hub and she is working on promoting Japanese tea in Sweden and across all Europe. More here.


Nixon Chen
Mahidol University International College
Tea Catalyst
Nixon is an assistant professor in Mahidol University International College.  He teaches about Sales, Marketing, Fashion, Society, Wine Studies and of course Tea! 

The Netherlands

Philippine Kahn
Tea Fellow
Most of Philippine's carrier was in the field of law, but she is looking for a future in tea, and has been actively studying about Japanese tea.
Richard Schukkink 
International Tea and Coffee Academy
Tea Catalyst
Richard is the founder of the International Tea and Coffee Academy. For over a decade, he has been teaching and inspiring a new generation of tea and coffee professionals.


Eray Ergenc
Tea Fellow
Eray has roots in a tea producing region of Turkey and in future would like to have a tea farm to produce green tea.


Dan Bolton
Tea Journey
Tea Patron
Dan is the founder of the digital Tea Journey magazine, and he is also the chief editor of several other tea magazines.
Seth Griffin
Tea Fellow
Seth is a professional Chinese translator and a keen tea drinker.
Patrick Leonard
Tea Fellow
Christopher Lum
Tea Master Matcha Cafe & Green Tea Shop
Tea Fellow
Christopher works at a tea shop in LA - Tea Master. He is a true Japanese tea lover and Matcha is his passion. 
Marzi Pecen 
Pecen & Associates
Tea Fellow
Marzi is a independent tea professional consulting about the tea, fragrance, flavoring, culinary & beverage industries
Cathy Reyes-Gallardo
Cathy Ana
Tea Fellow
Cathy has a great passion for Japanese tea. She has spent nearly a year in a tea town in Kyoto, and hopes to open her own tea shop one day.
Tess Thormodsgaard
LA Tea Sommelier
Tea Fellow
While professionally working in a different field, Tess is passionate about tea and is happy to organize tea activities and workshops in LA.
Erin Toyoshima
Tea Fellow
Erin manages Operations and Sustainability at Matchaful, a female-founded, mission-driven matcha and wellness company based in New York City. 
Adrian Vega
Tea Fellow
Adrian has been working in the tea industry for a number of years and now he is creating a new tea company