Tea Masterclasses

“Tea is a religion of the art of life.” ~ Kakuzō Okakura, The Book of Tea

The art and science of tea goes back nearly 5000 years and there’s a wealth of fascinating knowledge behind the humble cuppa. There is a growing interest in tea which like wine, coffee and a number of other drinks is seeing a renaissance of interest in its origins, how it’s produced, the story behind tea and how it gives back.


Jon Houldsworth is the in-house tea specialist at Dilmah here in New Zealand. With valuable experience in both retail and hospitality as well as a personal passion for the beverage, Jon has an infectious enthusiasm for everything tea. Jon spends a great deal of time giving guest lectures at universities and training institutes around New Zealand where the next generation is learning quick and says the industry needs to keep up!


Along with some very practical applications the content of our Masterclasses covers everything from the history and culture of tea to the great variety of specialty tea that people are now re-discovering. We go into the growing recognition of specialty tea as an ingredient or pairing option for food and beverage professionals but anyone with a passion for innovative food thinking and a respect for tradition will be inspired with some new ideas. Tea drinker or not, you’ll be quite surprised with what you learn and you’ll come away feeling like a tea master!


Masterclasses are between 1 -1.5 hours with 1 hour suiting nonfood-service customers and 1.5 hours suiting food-service customers or food-focused events/groups. 45 minute sessions are possible but do not include tea tasting. These can be run at your own site but on occasion our distributor Cerebos Greggs will arrange Masterclasses at a central location for a number of groups to attend.


Some content is adjusted depending on the group attending though much of the background content is included in all sessions.


If you deal with tea on any level of retail you will find the Masterclass a very useful insight into a beverage that is consumed second only to water globally! Amongst the hustle and bustle of each day it’s easy to overlook the significance of tea in your customers lives so this is quite an eye opener to an old world industry and crucial in further understanding the quality, cost and value structure of tea.


Everyone knows there is a great deal of untapped potential for tea in the food-service industry and it starts with knowing your product inside-out and then serving it well. The loyalty and long term value you can achieve by appealing to the vast number of tea lovers is greatly underestimated.

Public and Special Interest Groups

Whether you’re a corporate looking for an inspiring event (they say tea fueled the industrial revolution!)… a garden club or just an individual wanting to know when the next public event might be. Get in touch with Jon to find out more (see below).


All Masterclass sessions conclude with a tea tasting of at least 8 teas that represent a unique cross section of tea from different origins and styles. For industry customers we focus on a particular selection of teas which enable you to further understand the specific range you serve or sell in your own business. If in addition to these you wish to run through a tasting of your specific range please allow an additional 15 minutes at the end.


When possible we provide 2 or 3 food items alongside a matching tea to experience the incredible tastes and textures of tea gastronomy. For food-service customers who would like to sample some of their own menu items and find a few pairing to their current range please allow an additional 20mins at the end to go through this.


For industry customers please get in touch with your immediate Dilmah tea supplier/rep about arranging a Masterclass next time Jon is in your area. Jon also runs Dilmah’s social media for New Zealand so for public events keep in touch by following us on Facebook and Twitter for announcements.

For requests to present to a group call Jon on (09) 525 3913