Philip Parda ITMA Certified Tea Master. Serendipitous is how Parda describes his life-long, compelling and fascinating connection with tea. Like a force within, filled with intrigue and timeless wonder, his study of tea began in his college days in the 1970s. It was then he discovered that the antioxidants he was hearing about, and their abundance in “green” tea, was part of a culture dating back almost 5000 years. No, green tea was something wise people had been consuming and admiring for centuries.
This fascination initiated by a quest for well-being, now fueled by nature and knowledge of ancient tea drinkers, created an early awareness in Parda of both the powers of this gift of nature called tea and the degree to which man has shown his adornment of the leaf through the development of artisan techniques. He discovered the adapted leaf material was combined with technique developed over centuries to create uniqueness and gastronomic bliss.
Over time, tea became an ingrained part of the fabric of Parda’s daily life, moving beyond ritual to daily sustenance. In 1977 as a young entrepreneur, Parda founded a manufacturing firm in the plastics industry which within several years led him to China where his fledgling passion for tea went from a flame to a blaze. This chance development created the opportunity for Parda to frequently travel to Asia, eventually leading to the establishment of a Hong Kong office which became a perfect hub in Asia for Philip’s entry as a tea purveyor.
After years of enjoying and studying tea as a healthy habit and passion, Parda launched WorldSource International in 2004, a tea company specializing in the selection, importation and wholesaling of fine loose-leaf tea from China, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Viet Nam, Nepal, India, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Uganda, and South Africa.
Parda is a regular guest speaker and instructor at the Specialty Tea Institute’s tea certification courses, a guest lecturer at a wide variety of tea expos and healthy living seminars throughout the U.S., including the World Tea Expo, and an active leader in regional tea tastings. He recently joined the elite faculty of the International Tea Masters Association.
He provides expert information on “Artisan Teas”, their parallel with wines, their health benefits, and on how tea is the “liquid thread” that stitches together the Asian culture. He is dedicated to researching, sourcing, selecting and introducing specialty teas with a focus on small growers and family farms.
In 2007, Parda conceptualized developing a platform to educate people about the benefits & opportunity of “Specialty Teas” and the “Tea Lifestyle” which became the basis for Savvy Tea Gourmet, an award winning teahouse, tea education center, and tea showroom for the tea selections Parda sources around the world .
Parda and his partner Judith Guard have set a lofty goal for themselves of making their customers the most knowledgeable and savvy tea community in the U.S., bringing their customers Health, Enjoyment and Quality of Life Through Tea…and Improving the lives of people through tea…One Sip At A Time.
Together, they are blending and integrating their life’s work with their daily lives and passion for tea, gardening, the natural world, and a healthy lifestyle. At their home in Killingworth Connecticut they have created an organic herbal and tea farm & gardens which produce ingredients for their teas and custom herbal blends.