Claudia Zárate, ITMA Certified Tea Master™, ITMA Certified Tea Blender™ and Executive Director of the ITMA is an expert on high-end teas and the fruit of the vine as a professional wine sommelier, an expert on sake, tequila, and vodka, and a gourmand of fine cuisine. Her expertise is vast in each of these arenas.
She was appointed the Managing Director of the Tea Masters Association of Mexico by the International Tea Masters Association in 2014 and licensed as one of its certified trainers. She intends to lead a training for becoming an ITMA Certified Tea Sommelier™ in Mexico City and in Barcelona, Spain.
Claudia was the Wine Director for the Buddha Bar Mexico Restaurant, a French franchise that opened its doors in Mexico for the first time in January, 2011. She developed the list of wines, menu pairings, and managed the purchasing of wines for its wine cellar of more than 2,300 bottles. She held this position until 2012.
Claudia graduated from the Universidad Anahuac in Mexico City and then attended the University of California – Davis Campus where she studied wine and winemaking. She also traveled extensively to vineyards in France, Germany, Spain, and Calfornia, and is a member of the Dallas Sommelier Society and Mexican Sommelier Association.
She is also responsible for the positioning of the Twinings of London brand of tea in Mexico, and for tea master programs on radio and TV throughout Mexico. She continues to develop the brand with tea tastings focused on VIP groups for specialized lifestyle, food, and health magazines and private events at the British Embassy in Mexico, including the celebration of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
Claudia participated as a sommelier on Radio Life & Style on the subject of wines and gastronomy in Spain, and has collaborated on the same program discussing different wines promoting automotive brands such as BMW, Audi, Mazda and Ford.
She was previously the official ambassador for the French brand Vodka Grey Goose (represented by Bacardi in Mexico). She was involved in social events where the brand was a sponsor and key component to the events as a symbol of exclusivity. Radio and TV and high-end social magazines were used as well to enhance the brand.
Claudia is just as passionate about tea as she is about wine. She had the recent good fortune of studying tea and its preparation under the tutelage of Grand Tea Master Roy Fong during a special training event in San Francisco.