Recently honoured in China as an ambassador of Chinese tea culture is Crookwell’s own director of the Tea House and Gallery, Stephen Carroll.
Mr Carroll and Owen Terry, received the accolade at the Cross-Straits Tea Expo held in Wuyishan city, Fujian province, China on November 19.
They were appointed as consultants for the Shenzhen Huajuchen Tea Expo and ambassadorships for their contributions.
“It is one form of a closer association with the Australian tea market and tea lovers,” Mr Carroll said.
The award was presented by chairman of the Huajuchen Industry Group, Mr Yang. The group runs the largest network of tea festivals in the world. “It was a big affair,” Mr Carroll said.
There are only three people in the world who have received the accolade.
The plaque, which is signed by Mr Yang, itself highly unusual, is also presented with the stamp of the seal of China, Mr Carroll said.
The plaque reads, “In view of your achievements and influence in the tea culture and in order to promote the exchange and cooperation between Australian and Chinese tea culture, you are specially appointed as the consultant of the Shenzhen Huajuchen Tea Expo and ambassador of Chinese tea culture.”
Mr Terry and Mr Carroll are both directors of the recently launched Tea Guild International, which offers tea education programs, and international tours. Mr Terry is currently in the UK to launch the business.
The Huajuchen Industry Group encourage business relationships with foreign ambassadors and encourage foreigners to visit China, and the global tea fair has had the Chinese social media ban lifted to encourage international connections.
Mr Carroll, who has been going between Australian and China for years, said the city of Wuyishan was the origin of Chinese Oolong Tea, and the area maintained a strong connection with migrant tea farmers in Taiwan.