ITCC was founded by Dan Robertson and Neil Gorman in 2011. Although having traveled to Asia since the late 80's, Dan 's background in the tea industry started in 1994 when he traveled extensively throughout the tea producing regions of China with the intention of producing a documentary on the history, production and culture of Chinese teas. Returning to China the following year for another month, Dan visited numerous tea companies, factories, tea plantations, research centers, museums, hospitals, tea houses, historical sights all across the country and interviewed and learned from dozens of tea experts in various fields of tea study. As an unexpected result, he realized an appreciation for tea and used his newly established relationships to found The Tea House that same year. Simultaneously, he also began organizing and then leading the first commercial tea tour from the US to China. Starting with the China Tea Tour, as the tea business developed and his travels took him to other tea producing countries, he combined all the destinations under the umbrella World Tea Tours.
As a result of the growing tea business and his growing number of contacts he would regularly receive and taste samples of teas from across the tea producing world. He realized that while he had the opportunity to taste and evaluate so many teas, his customers would only get to enjoy the few teas that he selected for The Tea House. Seeing an opportunity to use his connections to expand the appreciation for tea to more people, he formed the ITCC and created the concept of and organized the first Cupping Event which allowed members to receive, taste and evaluate 10 first flush teas from Darjeeling, India. Just like tea buyers, by cupping a selection teas from a single region and season, Cuppers can gain a better understanding of a particular tea.
With members all over the globe, and from various levels of the tea world, there is a wonderful opportunity to share knowledge with one another. ITCC endeavors to make this possible through hosting our Cup Warming tea tasting programs at festivals and trade fairs around the world, through our news letter and social media. Over his more than 25 year career in tea, Dan had become a world recognized authority on tea and serves as a judge at various tea competitions. He lectures and teaches tea at consumer and trade events and to the community at large. The newly formed International Tea Training Center, in the Riviera Maya, Mexico welcomes students from across the globe for a variety of tea training courses including professional tea taster training. Experts from origin countries are invited to come and instruct students in the numerous fields of study.