Who We Are
Kyle Stewart (right) teaches for Specialty Tea Institute (STI), the only tea certification progam endorsed by Tea Association of the USA. The first Certified Tea Specialist (CTS) in Texas, and one of the first worldwide, Kyle is passionate about teaching and has been recognized for his teaching excellence by World Tea Awards.
Originally from Woodbine, Iowa, Kyle studied music at Iowa State University, Tanglewood, and Northwestern University. While teaching Music and Arts & Humanities at Alverno College, he developed a passion for learning about other cultures and world travel. During many trips to Asia and Europe, Kyle discovered that learning about a country's tea ritual and sharing tea with the people, gave him insight into the culture.
Using this information, he regularly teaches chefs, wine experts, and mixologists how to pair tea with food, and how to use tea as a recipe or cocktail ingredient. Kyle's given tea talks at Fortune 500 companies, Southern Methodist University, Dallas Museum of Art, Crow Museum of Asian Art at University of Texas at Dallas, World Tea Expo, and for TEDxSMU.
In 2019, World Tea Awards named The Cultured Cup as the Best U.S. Tea business.
Phil Krampetz (left) is our coffee expert. Because our coffee supplier owns its own coffee plantation and incorporates a "seed-to-cup" quality control process, Phil traveled to the Costa Rican plantation to learn about each step of the coffee-growing and roasting process. Originally from New York, Phil has worked in a variety of industries. His background includes a BS in Mechanical Engineering, and an MS in Industrial Management. He worked at numerous international companies before finally finding his passion with small business and customer relations, selling coffee, tea and chocolate.