Historical Research Consultant; Archivist; writer
ITEI Certified Tea Master
ITEI Blue Leaf Award in Teas
TAC Tea Sommelier
Tea Educator - Tea history
Member of the Culinary Historians of Canada; Jane Austen Society
Expertise in Culinary History including the cultural history of tea
Steeped in History International Tea Education Institute becomes the first in Tea Industry to employ a Historian.
International Tea Education Institute announces the addition of a faculty member in the role of “Tea Historian.” Susan Peters brings to the association nearly three decades of experience in professional ethno historical research. With an academic background in both history and cultural anthropology and further studies in museum collections and culinary history; she provides a unique perspective in the study of the past, within the context of material culture. Spanning almost 30 years, Susan has been conducting historical research for a variety of clients: various local museums; Aboriginal cultural groups; The Union of Ontario Indians; The Assembly of First Nations; Indian Residential Schools Resolution Canada; and the National Museums of Canada. She has also been a long-term member of the Culinary Historians Associations of Ontario and Canada.
As a child living in France and Germany, (as well as in various provinces of Canada), Susan developed a real sense of the richness of local culture. One also develops a sense of the importance of culinary traditions, both now and in the past. While later living in the American South, she also learned to appreciate just how culinary history is embedded in the culture of the South. One cannot help but develop a real sense of history and place with this exposure. Culinary history is embedded in our oral traditions, not just as a means of survival, but as the focus of our family traditions. Within this context, Susan has been developing an understanding in the cultural traditions associated with tea. Tea is steeped in history. As a commodity, tea was traded and stolen and bootlegged throughout history. Pirates commandeered shipments of it. People were enslaved over the tea trade. Wars were fought over it. Dowry’s consisted of tea, as it was very valuable. At times, tea was sexy or forbidden. Because it was valuable, acts of industrial espionage were freely carried out in order to garner control of the tea trade. It is not simply the warm beverage we drink with toast. When you sip a cup of tea, you drink in all its history, all its blood and guts and glory. You pay homage to all the brave pioneers in the past who risked life and limb so we could take this mighty beverage for granted. Susan does not take this beverage for granted. She brings to he Canadian Tea Masters Association a passion for sharing her love of the place tea has in our history. It was not always a happy story, but we must respect those who had a part in our embracing tea today. It is a commonplace element in our everyday lives, but that was not always so. By learning their part in the story, we pay homage to those who worked so hard to bring it to us. As a Tea Historian and Certified ITEI Tea Sommelier and Mastery in the Art of Tea, she has a real respect for these pioneers, warts and all.
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