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David DeCandia Blends A World Of Tea For Coffee Bean And Tea Leaf Stores Around The World

120726100603_dave-picking-teaPaul and Elizabeth chat with David De Candia about the world of tea. His title at The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf® may conjure images of him sitting surrounded by cups of tea to taste or of him directing an operation of blending and bagging leaves in a large room. A certified tea specialist and master blender, De Candia’s job description is, in fact, much more complex and includes traveling to tea growing regions around the world to sample and buy teas directly from individual estates with whom he has forged relationships; evaluating and blending teas at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s Camarillo, CA, Roasting & Distribution facility; spearheading the company’s Caring Cup global initiatives; acting as a teacher, judge, and panelist at tea conventions and expositions; and educating the company’s team members. De Candia, of course, simplifies it further by saying, “Tea is who I am.” He’s involved with the brand’s tea cultivating process from seed to cut and spends almost two thirds of every year traveling to various tea estates across India, Sri Lanka, the Himalayas, China, and Africa.