Our Featured Speakers


Dr. Ping Chung Leung

Tea Drinking – Known Benefits and Projections for Added Value

Emeritus Professor, School of Chinese Medicine, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, State Key Laboratory of Research on Bioactivities and Clinical Applications of Medicinal Plants (The Chinese University of Hong Kong)

Professor Leung is well published in orthopedics, osteoporosis, microsurgery, public health, traditional Chinese medicine and general education. He is developing research methodologies for traditional Chinese medicine based on modern clinical science requirements. 


Ryo Iwamoto

Tea as a Prescription for Today’s Society

Founder & CEO
TeaRoom Inc, Japan

A Political Science and Economics Major at Waseda University, and tea specialist in the Urasenke school of tea, Iwamoto is the founder and CEO of TeaRoom Inc., a rising tea start-up in Japan. Through this company, Ryo aims to revive traditional tea culture and spread the spirit of "wa" (harmony). He was recently appointed Tea Ambassador of Japan by the Tea Association of Japan.


Dr. Yu-Jui Yvonne Wan

Gut Microbiota, Tea, and Health

Professor, Vice Chair for Research
Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine
UC Davis Medical Center

Dr. Wan's research focuses on the role of microbiota in contributing to and preventing of obesity and metabolism-associated health issues.  She has studied the health benefits of chemicals derived from tea, vegetables, and bacterial fermentation-generated products.



Justin Trout

Healthful Kombucha: Its Demand, Perception, and Growth in the Marketplace

Co-Founder, COO
Health-Ade Kombucha

Justin Trout started his career as a professional guitarist, songwriter, and audio engineer,  but when his homemade kombucha proved popular with friends and family, changed directions and in 2012, co-founded Health-Ade.


Dr. Weronica Ek

Tea Consumption and Epigenetic Changes in Women

Researcher, Department of Immunology, Genetics, and Pathology
Medical Genetics and Genomics; Research group Åsa Johansson
Uppsala University, Sweden

Dr. Ek’s research has largely focused on identifying the genes affected in various cancers, and how the environment, lifestyle and genetics affect risks for immunological diseases. She has received prestigious postdoctoral appointments (QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Australia; Karolinska Institute, Sweden) and published in important journals including Nature Genetics and Journal of the National Cancer Institute.

rona tison

Rona Tison

Healthful Matcha: Its Demand, Perception, and Growth in the Marketplace

Executive Vice President
Corporate Relations & PR
Ito En (North America)

A tea industry connoisseur with a refined approach to Japanese culture in the U.S. and to innovative marketing, Tison is responsible for maintaining and developing Ito En’s corporate image through branding, public relations and promotional events. She also serves on the Tea & Health Committee of the U.S. Tea Council, and is a member of the U.S. Tea Association, the Specialty Tea Institute, the US-Japan Council and Japan Society. She is a frequent speaker national and international tea industry fairs, as well as at the prestigious James Beard House and Smithsonian Lecture Series.


Dr. Rebecca Corbett

Identifying Tea Spirit in Early Modern Japan

Japanese Studies Librarian
University of Southern California

Dr Corbett's research interests include the history and practice of Japanese tea culture (chanoyu), and early modern Japanese women’s history. In particular, her work has focused on reevaluating the role of women as practitioners and producers of Japanese tea culture historically. Her book Cultivating Femininity: Women and Tea Culture in Edo and Meiji Japan (University of Hawai’i Press, 2018) analyses privately circulated and commercially published texts to show how tea practice for women was understood, articulated, and promoted from the eighteenth through early twentieth centuries.


Wingchi Ip

Health in the Chinese Classics on Tea

Owner and Director
LockCha Teahouse, Hong Kong

Formally trained as a calligraphy artist and designer, and with more than 30 years of experience in various aspects of the tea industry, Mr. Ip is a renowned expert in tea connoisseurship, tea ware design, and teahouse management. He currently serves as Guest Professor, Shuren University and TianfuTea College, as well as Executive Director of the World Tea Union, Founding Chairman of the Hong Kong Tea Association, and consultant to both the Fujing Tea Culture Institute and the Yunnan Tea Association.