Dan Robertson has been one of T Ching’s Contributing Writers since 2006 and is our final Featured Writer for 2020.

When life gives you lemons…., slice them into wedges and squeeze them into a tall glass of tea. Even better, sip your tea as you walk along the beach on the Mexican Riviera Maya. What’s that? You’re not on the Mexican Riviera Maya? We’ll, now there is another reason to plan a visit besides sun and sand. Come learn about tea.

Dan Robertson, Director

Changes for the International Tea Cuppers Club

At the recent Virtual International Tea Festival, ITCC director Dan Robertson officially announced the inception of new International Tea Cuppers Club International Tea Training Center with this teaser. The lemons for Robertson was the fact that the pandemic essentially destroyed his 25-year business, World Tea Tours: Conducting professional tours and his Immersion Programs to tea countries of origin. The lightbulb inspiration was that he could bring students to one safe, remote place for professional instruction drawn from his decades of hands-on field experience and — in some cases — bring the international experts to Mexico for these in-person summits. This is NOT virtual. The sand, sun, and scent of tea are all real. In one of his classes at the recent virtual fest, a student suggested that he Zoom and record. “No,” Robertson responded resolutely.

Dan told T Ching, “As we all learn how to pivot and find a new normal, tea can continue to be a solace and inspiration for many. Long flights and lengthy travel to distant lands have been put on hold. But the desire to satisfy the thirst for deeper tea knowledge cannot be denied.”

Professional Tea Training + Relaxing Travel Combo

Robertson says that the ITCC tea training center is only a few hours flight from most major U.S. cities and is in a secluded, secure area yet near leisure and recreational attractions. Even though you won’t be surrounded by ancient tea fields, the training center is a short walk to a nearly-private beach where tortugas (sea turtles) nest and aquatic life abounds. There are caves to explore and it’s an easy drive to both ancient Mayan ruins and modern towns with vibrant art and cultural communities.

“This is a natural extension of what ITCC has already been doing for years, providing a more professionally oriented curriculum. Now, the travel restrictions from the pandemic, have afforded the time to focus and fully develop the various programs. We’re very excited about this new venture and look forward to sharing our passion for tea.”

With 22 professional-level tea training programs being offered between January and June of 2021, the Center hopes to serve both tea entrepreneurs and avid tea lovers from tea taster training to the Immersion Programs focused on specific regions and teas. The Center is a place for serious tea learning surrounded by the natural beauty and culture of the Yucatan peninsula. All programs include meals and accommodations and allow free time to explore.

About Luo Dan

As one of the few U.S. tea professionals invited to judge international tea competitions, Robertson has also been boots-on-the-ground with major tea producers and small artisan farmers, working to support world tea trade, education, and innovation. His work is trusted and respected and in China he is fondly referred to by his chinese name, Luo Dan.

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