International Tea Masters Association Acquired

Recognized throughout the world, the International Tea Masters Association, acknowledged as the Gold Standard in tea education and professional certification, was acquired today by Claudia Zárate, one of the association’s asteemed, competant course trainers. The association was originally founded in September, 2007, to educate, train, and certify tea sommeliers, tea blenders, and tea masters.

Zárate is both an ITMA Certified Tea Master and  ITMA Certified Tea Blender, and an expert on high-end sophisticated teas.  She is also 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 graduated from the Universidad Anahuac in Mexico City and then attended the University of California, Davis Campus, where she studied wine and winemaking. To further her education, she traveled extensively to vineyards in France, Germany, Spain, and Calfornia.  Zárate is also a member of the Dallas Sommelier Society and Mexican Sommelier Association.

She participated in the celebration of the Royal Wedding of Prince William and the Diamond Jubilee of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

Zárate is just as passionate about tea as she is about wine. She had the good fortune of studying imperial tea and its preparation under the tutelage of ITMA Certified Grand Tea Master Roy Fong during a special training event in San Francisco.

ITMA Certified Tea Master Chas Kroll, the founder of the International Tea Masters Association, sold the organization to Zárate . Prior to launching the association, he owned and operated a successful online specialty tea company for ten years, which he sold in June, 2006.

His original vision for his company was to disseminate information on the healthy benefits of consuming tea to a broad cross-section of the population. In doing so, he believed that people would be able to reduce the incidence of harmful, life-threatening diseases, increase their energy, enhance their lifestyle, and live longer, more fulfilling lives. He carried this same belief with him as he managed the association.

Kroll’s colleagues in the tea industry and his students over the past ten years regard him as a skilled and knowledgeable tea master, developing several of his own proprietary, custom tea blends, a tea-based seasoning rub, and several outstanding courses of instruction.  Besides his talent and ability with tea, he is also a professionally trained life coach, author, speaker, soft-spoken motivator, and empowering leader-by-example. On a personal level, he’s an articulate, intelligent, confident, sincere, caring man. His spirituality and integrity are two of his unique gifts. What most people get from him when they meet him is his authenticity.

For additional information, contact Claudia Zárate,  ITMA Executive Director, at (432) 210-2628 or


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