Copy of Specialty Tea Institute (STI) Education
My name is Kyle Stewart, and I'm passionate about tea. I've co-owned The Cultured Cup for over 25 years, and love to learn and share what I've learned with others. My formal tea education is from one institution: the Specialty Tea Institute (STI), the educational arm of the Tea Association of the USA, where I received my Certified Tea Specialist and Certified STI Instructor credentials. In 2015, I was named one of the first five STI Tea Mentors in the U.S.
What does it mean to be an STI Tea Mentor? Several times a year, I teach STI's Level I & II courses, mostly in Dallas. These are the introductory classes of STI's curriculum, the only tea training certified by the Tea Association of the USA.
Through my connections with the Specialty Tea Institute, I've traveled to origin countries and developed relationships with tea farmers, processors, wholesalers, tea scientists, and tea researchers from around the world.
In 2018, I was one of five nominated for Best Tea Educator by World Tea Expo, and in 2019, The Cultured Cup was named the Best Retail Tea Shop, Cafe, Bar in the U.S.!
Drawing on my 25 years of tea experience, I customize the learning for each student. I get to give back and help educate the next generation of tea lovers and tea educators.
To learn more about my background, please read the January 2019 D Magazine article in which I was featured.
"Kyle is a selfless supporter and promoter of tea, demonstrated by his years of service on our STI Board as well as being a leading Tea Mentor for STI. Thank you, Kyle, for dispensing tea knowledge to those unfamiliar with tea, or those who want to learn more. Through your efforts, the number of tea drinkers in the U.S. continues to grow and more people are becoming tea drinkers, tea lovers, and tea acolytes!" Peter F. Goggi, President of the Tea Association of the USA
"It was a true pleasure to meet you and be a recipient of your knowledge & wisdom. It was much more than I ever expected & those who said you were the best, could not have been more accurate. You've got a true passion for tea, culture and most of all...people. All the best wishes as your journey continues." Troy Knapp, Former Executive Chef, The Driskill Hotel, Austin, Texas
From Anonymous Student Evaluations
"Kyle is simply an inspiration. His knowledge is deep like an ancient tea tree, and his passion never ends!"
"Of all the professors I've had (and I've had some damn good ones), Kyle is one of the best! He understands the spirit of what he teaches and communicated the information in a manner that was meaningful and inspirational to my life as a tea professional."
"I would love to have all my tea classes with Kyle! An inspiration, truly & totally. I am so grateful. Kyle is knowledgeable, meaningful, energetic, flexible, personable, patient and engaging. Great class!"
"A fantastic way to experience the course! Kyle was more than prepared, open & facilitated discussion. And this course was about so much more than 'Green, Yellow & White Tea.' A fantastic & passionate instructor!"