Not Just Tea Panel


Tuesday, June 30th
930a PST/1230p EST/530p BST

How can we claim to know tea without knowing its root?

Tea has existed for almost 5,000 years as part of nature, a reflection of humanity, and abundant in diversity. Yet, due to industrialization and colonization, the way tea has evolved remains unknown to most, which has shaped how we engage and view tea culture.

Our four (4) panelists represent unique perspectives and expertise in tea. Join them for a much-needed conversation celebrating tea’s hidden stories, insight on its culture, and to raise awareness, impacting the future of ancient indigenous tea and traditions.


Rui Liu, Grass People Tree

Rui Liu, Founder, Grass People Tree
In the wild and inaccessible mountains of Guizhou in southwest China, the primeval ecosystem and diverse ethnic tea cultures have remained unknown to the rest of the world for centuries. Born and raised as a Guizhou local, and as founder of Grass People Tree, Rui’s mission is to shift the way her country is seen and to share the secret of a brew that never bitters, the ancient wisdom of Living Tea.

Elyse Petersen, Tealet

Elyse Petersen, Founder, Tealet
Elyse Petersen founded Tealet, a transparent supply chain for independent tea producers to share information and trade efficiently within the international tea market. She studied tea in Hawaii and Japan, and now works with tea growers, producers, and businesses throughout the globe. Elyse is a food scientist and Peace Corps volunteer focused on uplifting the sustainability and economic potential of independent tea producers through high quality tea production.

Linda Louis, Bana Tea Company

Linda Louie, Owner, Bana Tea Company
Linda Louie is the owner of Bana Tea Company, an online tea company specializing in Pu-erh tea. She is a tea enthusiast and Educator, having studied under Master Vesper Chan in Hong Kong, a renowned tea master. She has been featured in Imbibe, a popular beverage magazine, and travels extensively to tea producing regions to study tea cultivation, processing, and culture. Linda regularly lectures, gives tea brewing demonstrations, and focused tastings at various museums, including Huntington Library and Gardens, public libraries, community colleges, and tea conventions, including the L.A. International Tea Festival, and the World Tea Expo.

Lisa See, Author

Lisa See, Author
Lisa See is the New York Times bestselling author of The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane, The Island of Sea Women, Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Peony in Love, Shanghai Girls, China Dolls, and Dreams of Joy, which debuted at #1. She is, also, the author of On Gold Mountain, which tells the story of her Chinese American family’s settlement in Los Angeles. And has written a mystery series that takes place in China. She is the recipient of the Golden Spike Award from the Chinese Historical Association of Southern California, the History Maker’s Award from the Chinese American Museum, and was named National Woman of the Year by the Organization of Chinese American Women. Her books have been published in 39 languages.


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