Smith Teamaker, the most uncommon name in tea, today announced the appointment of Ravi Kroesen as Vice President of Tea Operations. Kroesen brings a deep passion for and understanding of what it takes to lead a tea department uniquely committed to quality, creativity and craft.
Kroesen has spent the past 18 years in the tea industry and most recently led tea operations at Royal Tea New York, the tea division of established premium green bean coffee importer, Royal Coffee. Prior to his role at Royal Tea, Kroesen played an integral part in launching the Brooklyn-based Bellocq tea brand and oversaw tea operations for nearly six years. During his tenure, he sourced all tea, herbs and spices while building the company’s single origin and pu-erh offerings. Kroesen also spent seven years managing tea operations at Portland’s Tao of Tea, where he first tasted through 100 plus single origin teas in 2000 and solidified his love of the craft.
Having lived in India for 7 years and traveled the world for tea, Kroesen speaks Mandarin and Hindi. He is a respected member of the tea industry, sitting on the board of the International Specialty Tea Association (ISTA) where he helps define world standards for the tea industry.
“We are trilled to welcome Ravi to the team,” said Smith Teamaker’s CEO Darren Marshall. “We know his deep expertise in sourcing and background building premium tea brands makes him qualified to lead our tea department and continue the legacy of our late founder Steve Smith,” he adds.
About Smith Teamaker
Smith Teamaker is a line of highly curated teas and herbal infusions that showcase the company’s artful talent for creating unexpected combinations with complex flavors—all blended and packed in small batches at its Portland headquarters. Smith was founded by the late legendary teamaker Steve Smith who was the craftsman behind two of the nation’s biggest and best tea brands, Stash and Tazo. The mission at Smith is to elevate the tea experience by creating teas made with transparency to the source, exceptional blending and constant innovation. Smith is available online at smithtea.com and specialty retail stores across the nation.