I’m Marco, a tea enthusiast and professional that’s passionate about connecting the dots from tea to other disciplines!
My first experiences with tea came from Brisk iced tea lemonade and the warm oolong or green jasmine from the local Chinese restaurant. Music also played an integral role in my life, expanding the language in which I communicated emotions, and I pursued life as a clarinetist and music educator in university.
After conducting and working within Chicago Public School music programs, I stumbled further into tea. First, working with tea blends and signature beverages for a tea cafe concept, I began a career in Training/Development – structuring tea education and job training through classroom instruction, e-learning modules, and assessment tools from the ground up. I traveled internationally, facilitating the training and store opening processes for numerous tea cafes in universities and centers, including a mall in Abu Dhabi, UAE. With experience in product development and supply chain, I soon pivoted to running business operations for several tea cafes.
Then, along came gongfu cha.
While still in an operations role, I remember eyeing a tea bar not too far from where I lived. Intrigued, I visited and had come face-to-face with this way of tea preparation. I stayed there as much as possible on my days off and fell further in love with exploring tea. It was nearly a year after that first experience that I began this blog. Since then, I’ve taken on roles within marketing and digital content spaces to learn more.
My time at the tea table has been a way to synthesize my life as an artist and educator. I feel the same sense of community in the world of tea as I did in my early years and yearn to cultivate that wherever I may be.
Backed by 8+ years working and growing alongside the tea industry, you’ll find me doing my best to serve a good cup of tea and dive deeper into the rich tapestry of cultures connected to the leaf. Relax and join me in tea exploration as I document my journey. Whether you prefer an iced matcha latte, love the coziness well-crafted chai gives you, or a meditative gongfu session, you’re welcome to stay awhile!
“Marco’s thoughtful and experiential tea tasting descriptions provide meaningful examples of how tea can integrate into our everyday lives. His photography is both intentionally playful and insightful. Each photograph reminds us that tea can help us to take time to reflect and expand our perspectives. Seeing Marco’s connections across the tea community, and beyond, also advocates for the diverse array of perspectives present within the tea community.”Shiloh Gastello
Ceramic/Mixed Media Artist
– Member of Tea Bloggers Roundtable
– Member of the American Specialty Tea Alliance
– Co-founder of Activist Teahouse
– Board Member of Chinese Tea Culture Association
– Community Outreach and Social Media Engagement for Grass People Tree
– Director of Tea House Programming and Content for Living Water Tea House