Faculty – Melissa Salazar

melissa_200 Melissa Salazar, ITMA Certified Tea Master™ and ITMA Certified Tea Blender™. I suppose the first thing you may be wondering about me is why I've dedicated my life to tea. Well, one reason is the plethora of health benefits that tea offers us. Tea has AMAZING qualities that surpass any other "superfood", fruit or vegetable on the planet! Another reason is that there are over ten thousand varieties of tea to choose from. Hopefully I get to taste them all! I love tea and the more I learn about it...the more I get excited and fall further in love with it. Tea is my passion and I want to extend my love of tea to all. My goal as a Tea Master and Blending Specialist is to make everyone fall in love with tea, whether you love flavor, classical blends or just straight delicious goodness.

I started my love affair with tea as a young girl having tea parties with my mom, sisters and grandmother. I have the fondest memories of these times as it was a time to laugh, relax and enjoy amazing soothing tea and delicious treats. After graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Exercise Nutrition and Wellness, I began to explore the health benefits of tea and how it could enhance my overall well­being. Then as part of my undergrad, I researched tea as an ergogenic aid (performance enhancer) to exercise. As an avid marathon runner any edge was exciting, especially a natural one. The studies I found suggested that, "yes", tea may indeed contribute to enhancing your performance....and I still drink tea before every run.

My story continues on to achieving a Professional Certification in tea followed by my Tea Masters Certification and Tea Blending Certification with the goal of delivering the goodness of antioxidants and catechins without all the calories to everyone. I created my own tea company, Red's Zen Tea Co. where I blend all my own teas and deliver a variety of truly unique organic teas for all to enjoy.

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