Last December, at the 2015 L.A. Tea Festival Devan Shah offered to record an interview for this series. But we waited too long. I am recording this podcast in his honor, based on my experiences with him over the last few years. 

Babette Donaldson



Devan Shah

August 14th, 1962 – April 3rd, 2016


Devan Shah, Norwood Pratt, Roy Fong

Devan Shah Receiving Cha Jing Award

George Jage, Gail Gastleu, Devan Shah, Norwood Pratt at Cha Jing Awards, World Tea Expo

Bianca and Devan Shah

Reena and Devan Shah

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Devan Shan, Tea Mentor


Devan Shah’s warm smile and generous spirit is evident at a distance.

The founder of International Tea Importers and Chado Tea Rooms is a familiar face at tea events where he is always surrounded by listeners animated by his energetic and passionate love of tea.Devan Shah

Born into a family of teachers in Mumbai, India, the role comes naturally. He is able to draw on a lifetime of tea experience that began at age seven during summers with his sister and brother-in-law on a tea plantation in Coonoor in the Nilgiri (Blue Mountains) of Southern India.

As an importer, wholesaler and retailer, Shah blends the various roles with a singular mission; tea education. Having spent his entire life in the tea industry, from the field to the international marketplace, he brings a dynamic perspective to the $2.6 billion specialty tea segment in the U.S.

Shah is best known as a wholesaler, one of the few who has exhibited at World Tea Expo every year since its inception in 2002. His classroom-style booths featuring speakers like author and tea expert James Norwood Pratt who spends hours on the show floor — visible evidence of Shah’s philosophy that education is the key to sales.


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