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Australian Tea
Cultural Virtual Seminar

A Virtual Way to Experience Tea

The events of 2020 forced us to press pause on many things we planned to do, though technology opened our eyes to new and imaginative ways of conducting our lives. We thought now was the time to look forward, press play and reinstate plans that had been postponed. 

Instead, once again we have been forced to cancel the plans for the 2021 face-to-face seminar. Although this was a heart-breaking decision, the health and well-being of everyone is of the upmost importance and was paramount in this decision process.

Virtual Event    |   Keynote speaker    |    
Cup Competition    |    Partners    |    Tickets

Day 1

AUSTCS will be presenting two online virtual events.

The first on Sunday 12th September 2021, which will be a day for AUSTCS Members to conduct the business of the organisation, including the AGM and an annual review. 

All active AUSTCS members will be sent an invitational email with private link to attend the first of the two events. 

The second event is on Sunday 3rd October 2021. 

This will be a day of presentations and a forum based around the theme of our 2021 seminar being ‘New ways to experience tea’, capturing the dual aspects of sensory engagement and industry innovation. 

At the present time AUSTCS TEAm members are working hard to create an interesting, valuable, and motivating line-up of presenters. While the Innovation Forum, we are pleased to say, will be the same panellists had it been a face-to-face seminar. We are also to confirm the platform we will be using to host the events.


The Presenters


Phil Attee

Regional Sales Manager and Distillation Consultant, Mammoth Distilling

With a professional background working in biology and chemistry labs, Phil decided to pursue a career with a little more spirit... literally. For several years, he trained in the art and science of distillation and cocktail making. He is currently the Regional Sales Manager and Distilling Consultant for Mammoth Distilling in Northern Michigan. His newest project is called The Formulary, a bitters and herbal liqueur company that will feature a handful of spirits infused with various teas.

Jeni Dodd

Founder, Jeni Dodd Tea

Born and raised in America’s heartland, Jeni Dodd has journeyed far afield from the plains of Kansas to remote tea-growing regions throughout the world in search of the perfect cup of tea. She has visited all of the major, and many of the up-and-coming, tea-producing countries witnessing firsthand the dedication, labour and passion required from growers and producers to create your cup of tea. Jeni is a Certified Tea Specialist and teaches future tea entrepreneurs and enthusiasts at the Specialty Tea Institute.

During COVID she created Grape Grain & Leaf™, a virtual tea cocktail experience featuring a collaboration with a Certified Sommelier from a NYC 3-Star Michelin restaurant. True to her roots, Jeni remains an avid Kansas Jayhawk basketball fan.

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John Harrison

Founder, DoMatcha

Combining a love of health and a passion for nature, John pioneered the introduction of matcha to North America more than 15 years ago, bringing a 400-year-old Japanese tradition to a new market.

Descended from a long lineage of conservationists, John demonstrates an unwavering love of nature and an appreciation of humanity and gentleness rare in the world of business. A deep concern for the biosphere is evident in John's personal association with the David Suzuki foundation, the World Wildlife Fund, the Sierra Legal Defense Fund, and Western Canada Wilderness.

DoMatcha is an important part of this commitment.

Sylvie Riches

Winner, 2021 AUSTCS Ceramic Cup Competition

Sylvie Riches is a French-born artist who discovered ceramics while doing a Visual Arts degree at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia. Sylvie developed her style after learning from a range of local potters from Perth, followed by an influential trip to France. On this 2017 visit, she took classes led by Thierry Luang Rath, which informed her decorative skills and aesthetic.

She draws her inspiration from contemporary designs as well as ancient and ethnic pottery and carvings. Her patience, persistence and attention to detail, as well as her desire to keep learning and extending herself in ceramics, means she is slowly establishing a distinctive style of exquisite pieces.

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Vicki Grima

Executive Officer, The Australian Ceramics Association

Vicki Grima started her career in visual arts education, first teaching high school students, and then teachers before practising as a ceramicist as a member of a co-operative ceramic’s gallery in Sydney.

In 2005, Vicki took on the dual role of Executive Officer of The Australian Ceramics Association and editor of The Journal of Australian Ceramics, both of which aim to represent the richness and diversity of the ceramic’s community across Australia.

Arakai Estate

Bellthorpe, Queensland

Arakai Estate is a 400-acre property at Bellthorpe in the hinterland of Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.

The multi-faceted farm grows award-winning green and black tea, avocados, plantation and native timbers and, most recently, ginger. The Collins family cultivates Japanese green tea varieties, which are processed using an oolong influenced style to create sweet and aromatic teas.

For more than a decade, Brendon Collins has overseen the tea field cultivation as well as Arakai’s five years of commercial tea production.

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Karl Lee

Qualified Taster, Educator and Consultant

YouTube Channel

Karl Lee is an award-winning sensory educator and consultant, bringing his expertise as a Coffee Quality Institute Certified Q Grader and a 2020 Australian Specialty Coffee Association Brewers Cup Sensory Judge to the tea world. He is also the 2020 Australian Specialty Coffee Association QLD Cup Tasters Champion.


He operates as KL Specialty Coffee Education & Consulting and has poured his passion into a new YouTube channel

Vincent Liu
Developer, MyTeaPal

Vincent Liu is a recent college graduate of Duke University in North Carolina, USA. He became interested in tea five years ago and trained to be a tea specialist in Chengdu, China. After starting a tea club and tea association in college, he decided to create a tea app, MyTeaPal, for tea enthusiasts to brew and track tea, log tea sessions, and connect with other TeaPals.

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Becky Nary-Dart
Founder, Big Heart Bamboo


Becky Nary-Dart is the owner-operator of Big Heart Bamboo, the specialty food business behind one of Australia's biggest bamboo forests. Started in the 1990s by her father, the forest produces tender shoots that she recognised could be harvested and pickled as a value-add for the culinary market. Now, the award-winning brand beloved by chefs has added bamboo-based condiments, tea and tourism to its offering.

Kym Cooper
Co-founder, East Forged

Kym Cooper is co-founder and chief tea taster at East Forged, an award-winning beverage brand created to disrupt the ice tea category with its crafted, brewed and ready-to-pour iced tea. Kym has had seven years trading in tea through The Steepery Tea Co., creating tea programs, tea blogging and fostering tea networks in Australia and Japan. Kym is passionate about growing the tea community in South East Queensland.

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Rebekah Radulovich


Rebekah is passionate about lifelong and life-wide learning, and her career reflects this as an educator, a learning consultant, and now a leader in adult and corporate learning.  As an avid tea consumer, learning about tea culture from colleague and friend David Lyons sparked an interest in what is beyond the cup. Bek became an AUSTCS member in 2020 to feed her tea learning journey. 

2021 Seminar

Full Virtual Seminar Package

  • Full annual membership of the Australian Tea Cultural Society

  • Live all day access to the virtual seminar

  • AUSTCS 2021 Seminar Box

The 2021 Seminar box is delivered to you anywhere in Australia and includes:​

  • Complimentary AUSTCS 2021 cup

  • Printed program

  • Special promotions 

  • ​Q&A participation during seminar presentations

  • ...and other goodies ​

Delivery included to Australian addresses

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Virtual Seminar Ticket

  • Live all day access to the virtual seminar

  • Q&A participation during seminar presentations


We have a limited special offer for those who wish to see a little of what AUSTCS is about.

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Become a partner

The Australian Tea Cultural Seminar offers an opportunity for businesses or groups to become a Partner of this unique event. This is an event where your company or group can be highlighted as a forward thinking and imaginative entity.  Take this opportunity to help shape the future of Australian tea culture.

Cup Comp

Our Partners


​Dō (pronounced ‘doh’) is the Japanese symbol for    ‘way’ or ‘journey’. DōMatcha means ‘The Way of Matcha’. Discovering the way of matcha is a journey well worth taking; a journey that brings people together in celebration of health and the simple beauty of life. We invite you to share in our journey and discover DōMatcha!


DōMatcha® is 100% authentic Japanese matcha, directly from Kagoshima and Uji, Kyoto. This is where matcha originated and where the most premium quality matcha is produced. Our supplier is based in Uji, Kyoto and has been in the tea business for 300 years. Our brand is also supported by the famous Japanese tea master Mr. Kazunori Handa, whose family has been in the tea business for 400 years.


DōMatcha® is cultivated, harvested and processed very carefully every step of the way to keep it fresh and rich in flavour, the Japanese way! Very little machinery is used in the process to assure top quality and to stay true to the ancient roots of Matcha.


​Find out more at

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Ceramic Cup Competition

The 2021 seminar also marks the fourth round of our now world-famous Ceramic Cup Competition.

A passion project by Kym Cooper, the competition complements our ritual of ‘Welcome by Tea’ while developing a relationship with the ceramics community through a partnership with the Australian Ceramics Association.

From early 2021, Australian potters will be invited to submit a teacup for judging, with the winning ceramicist to be commissioned to produce the AUSTCS cup for 2021.

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Our previous AUSTCS Ceramic Cup Competition winners have been Annemieke Mulder in 2018, Minna Graham in 2019 and Christopher Plumridge in 2020. Are you up for the challenge?

Keep an eye out on our social channels for the commencement of the competition and check out the Cup Competition Page for details. 

2022 Sydney Seminar

As part of the decision making on the cancellation of the Brisbane 2021 seminar, after it had been postponed back in 2020. It has now been agreed to move forward, which means the next seminar in 2022. 

Will be in Sydney Arrangements are already underway for what looks to be a very different and exciting cultural experience and seminar.

For up-to-date information sign up to the AUSTCS newsletter, connect with us on Facebook, Instagram or visit our website.

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