What is International Tea Day

On December 19, 2019, the United Nations General Assembly declared May 21st an annual INTERNATIONAL TEA DAY. The UN resolution stated the intention to “…  raise public awareness of the importance of tea for rural development and sustainable livelihoods and to improve the tea value chain to contribute to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.”

Re-emphasizing the call from the Intergovernmental Group on Tea to direct greater efforts towards expanding demand, particularly in tea-producing countries, where per capita consumption is relatively low, and supporting efforts to address the declining per capita consumption in traditional importing countries, the General Assemblydecidedto designate 21 May as International Tea Day.

The Day will promote and foster collective actions to implement activities in favour of the sustainable production and consumption of tea and raise awareness of its importance in fighting hunger and poverty.

(From the United Nations Tea Day Proclaimation)

The Sofa Summit – Celebrate International Tea Day 2022

Beginning just a few months after the original UN Resolution was announced, The Tea and Herbal Association of Canada began an ambitions and very valuable traditional celebration – The Sofa Summit, hosted by their president, Shabnam Weber. With Covid Pandemic lockdowns paralyzing the world, the Canadian Association created a virtual event that was so successful, that they just celebrated their 3rd annivarsry. 

Below is the YouTube replay of the 11 hour-long summit. A timetable and list of guests is below the YouTube video image. We very much appreciate this opportunity to gather on the “sofa” and enjoy an entire day of connecting with tea industry professionals around the world.

Interview Times:

  • 7:49 Leah Kibii Chirchir, Eastern Produce Kenya
  • 10:18:52 Hong Nguyen, Vietnam Tea Association
  • 1:06:09 Kamal Mainali, Himalayan Shangrila; Jeni Dodd, Jeni Dodd Tea
  • 1:32:07 Joydeep Phukan, Tea Research Association India
  • 1:59:42 Sharon Hall, UKTIA; Peter Goggi, USTA
  • 2:34:48 Anil Cooke, Asai Siyaka Commodities
  • 3:03:29 Nikhil Pradhan, Bermiok Tea
  • 3:29:20 Chaminda Jayawardana, Lumbini Tea
  • 4:14:05 Hasan Onder, Rize Ticaret Borsasi
  • 4:33:45 Gundega Silniece, Tea Tea Me
  • 4:57:35 Debajit Borthakur, Van Rees
  • 5:28:54 Kathrin Gassert, Teekamapgne
  • 6:09:02 Mark Arathoon, Blue Ocean Tea
  • 6:37:17 Stephan Krömer, Teegarden
  • 7:01:06 Kevin Gascoyne, Camellia Sinensis
  • 7:32:36 Shunan Teng, Tea Drunk
  • 7:58:49 Sebastian Beckwith, In Pursuit of Tea
  • 8:24:46 Jem McDowall, Universal Commodities
  • 8:59:19 Bruce Richardson, Elmwood Inn
  • 9:26:53 Chris MacNitt, Starbucks
  • 9:55:33 Zhen Lu/Phil Rushworth/ Jianli Wu, Zhen Tea
  • 10:24:22 Thibault Chuzeville, Yugen Tea Bar
  • 10:53:29 David DeCandia, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

Shabnam Weber has spent the last twenty years in the tea business as an entrepreneur. As owner of a specialty tea company, a tea school and a Director on the Board of the Tea and Herbal Association of Canada, she has a unique perspective on multiple angles of the tea business. She is the author of THAC’s well known and recognized Tea Sommelier® program and a big driver in both consumer and industry education. Shabnam values the diversity offered by all parts of the tea industry, both in Canada and beyond and focuses always on the bigger picture. Shabnam is a graduate of the University of Toronto with an Honours degree in Political Science and she also holds a post-graduate diploma in Psychology.