epicure: n, a person who cultivates a refined taste, especially in food and wine tea; connoisseur.

Tea Expert Tony Gebely plucking Long Jing

Tony Gebely is a world-renowned tea expert whose profound passion for tea has taken him on a global journey, transforming a personal interest into a celebrated career in the world of tea. His adventure began with an eye-opening university trip to Southern China, igniting a relentless pursuit of tea knowledge. Tony delved into the depths of tea lore, absorbing the teachings of renowned authors like William H. Ukers and James Norwood Pratt. In 2009, he began sharing his tea explorations with the world through his award-winning blog, World of Tea which later became Tea Epicure.

Tony’s personal and professional lives merged beautifully when he met his future wife, Katie, during an interview for her master’s thesis on tea in 2011. They married in 2014, weaving tea into the fabric of their life together, as seen in their tea-infused wedding ceremony. Based in Weaverville, NC, Tony’s contribution to the tea industry continues to resonate, marked by his modern and insightful perspectives that he shares with tea enthusiasts globally.

Tea Expert Tony Gebely plucking Long Jing

In 2019, Tony launched Tea Epicure, pioneering the world’s first Tea Assessment Platform, which scores teas from 50 to 100 based on their distinct features.

Today, Tony’s tea journey continues through his collaborations, engaging with tea cultures and enthusiasts around the world.


  • Certified International Level Judge, Tea Masters Cup (2017 – Present): Achieved the status of an International Level Judge and participated in judging the global finals in Enshi, China.
  • World Tea Award for Best Tea Blog (2014, 2015, 2019): Recognized for the exceptional quality of the tea blog, originally launched as World of Tea and later evolved into Tea Epicure.
  • Certified Tea Master, International Tea Masters Association (2016): Honored with this title due to significant contributions to the global spread of tea culture.


  • Founder and Executive Director, American Specialty Tea Alliance (2016-2018): Spearheaded the organization to enhance the visibility of specialty tea businesses in America and hosted the first American Tea Masters Cup. Learn more about the Alliance.
  • Director of Technology, American Tea Room (2015 – 2016): Led digital strategy, e-commerce, and technological implementations across retail and warehouse operations.
  • Chief Operating Officer, The Phoenix Collection (2014 – 2015): Headed operations, including tea tasting, procurement, and blending standardization for this renowned tea importer.
  • See More: Visit Tony’s LinkedIn profile to see his career journey.

Published Work

  • “The Philosophy of Tea” (The British Library, 2019): An engaging overview of tea’s history and cultural influence, exploring varieties, preparation methods, and cultural practices around the world.
  • “Tea: A User’s Guide” (Eggs + Toast Media LLC, 2016): A comprehensive guide to specialty tea, detailing tea cultivation, processing, chemical transformations in leaves, and expert preparation techniques.
  • See More: Learn more about Tony’s books and add one or both to your library.

Press + Public Appearances

  • Podcast Guest, ‘Flightless Bird’ with David Farrier (June 2023): Discussed the use of electric tea kettles in the United States.
  • Featured on ‘Revisionist History’ with Malcolm Gladwell (July 2019): Educated Malcolm on the topic of specialty tea, featured in the episode “Tempest in a Teacup.”
  • TV Guest, ‘China 24’ on CGTN America (March 2018): Participated in a live discussion about Chinese tea and tea culture.
  • See More: See a timeline that outlines all of Tony’s press appearances here.

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