Anfal Fekri, the first Master Tea Sommelier in the Middle East and the founder of Silver Tea Leaf Consultancy is a strong believer in giving back to the society and is constantly working on social causes to make the world a better place. Read on to find out more about her aspirations, passion and how she got involved in starting her tea company.
Tell us briefly about yourself?
My name is Anfal Fekri, I am the first Master Tea Sommelier in the Middle East from the International Tea Education Institute and the founder of Silver Tea Leaf Consultancy that has been established in 2014. I have established this firm aiming to introduce a Speciality Tea Concept in the Middle East by providing consultation and training services to the hospitality sector as well as to the tea enthusiasts in the region.
What has been your inspiration?
Inspiration is a major word; I would say what inspired me is the history of tea and how the history of tea contributed to shaping the world today. We see today that Japanese green tea tastes differently than the Chinese green tea and that was due to how the monks brought tea plants to Japan however what makes them taste differently is when Japan (Kyoto) decided to isolate itself from the whole world and by they continued using the same techniques (steaming) in manufacturing tea unlike China. Also how the opium war happened between China and Great Britain just for the Britain to get tea from China that motivated the British to plant tea in India and Sri Lanka after a disease affected the Sri Lankan coffee crops and finally the Boston Harbor tea party that was one of the main factors to earn the United States independence in the 18th century.
You see how major events happened in the past that either shaped the history because of tea or the other way around. In the past tea was only consumed by the royalty and diplomat that the working class couldn’t afford it at all, but today tea is available to everyone and everywhere, which we should be thankful for.
What have been the major challenges of your life so far?
The major challenge that I have faced so far in Silver Tea Leaf is introducing new ideas and concepts to the hospitality industry as well as to the consumer’s experience, which is slowing everything else in the business. The concept of Tea Speciality still seems new to people who would hear about it, while with coffee, people are demanding coffee from different origins and that is prepared using different techniques. Despite that, I see the great potential that this field would grow.
What are the other fields that you are into or interests you?
I am a strong believer in tackling issues and causes like, Climate Change, Animal welfare, Children and Woman rights. Through the new tea product that I have just launched, I want to showcase the importance of these causes to people in this region to inspire them and motivate them to take serious actions towards these matters.
How can someone get in touch with you?