Unlock a tea-chest of experience

The sales team at Metropolitan tea has more than 140 combined years of experience in direct dealings with suppliers and manufacturers in all aspects of the Tea industry.

Our customers have access not only to the world’s finest luxury teas, but tea guidance from some of the most knowledgeable people in the trade.

Gerry Vandergrift, Tea Master Level 4

Metropolitan Tea’s founder and master blender, Gerry’s 30+ years in the business have earned him a respected position with growers, suppliers and clients the world over. An experienced taster with an MBA in marketing and finance, his knowledge of teas and how to market them is unsurpassed in North America.

Gerry recommends: Irish Breakfast

Kathryn Duncan, Tea Master Level 2

Since joining the tea trade in 1992 the tea business has taken Kathryn around the world and given her a deep knowledge of our trade. A solid understanding of tea blending backed by a formal degree in international business makes her a trusted customer resource with a wide-ranging global outlook.

Kathryn recommends: Pai Mu Tan

John Hales, Tea Master Level 4

John got his start in tea at age 19 in the UK. After completing an extensive apprenticeship he joined the Overseas Tea Marketing department of one the UK’s most respected trading houses. During his nearly 30+ years in the trade, John has worked in the UK, Germany, Kenya, where he was the CEO of a tea blending company and now North America.

John recommends: Kenya Natural Dryer Mouth – Tinderet Tea Estate

John Chaffey, Tea Master Level 3

A valued member of our sales team, John has been with Metropolitan since 1992. In ‘85, John was hired out of business school and mentored by Jim and Bill Scandrett, two of North America’s top “tea men”. His subsequent travels and experience make him an exceptional client resource. An ideas man, John is very empathetic to customer needs and thrives on developing new ways to help them grow. 

John recommends: Margaret's Hope Darjeeling

Candace Santagelo, Tea Master Level 2
Starting with the company as a co-op student in 1991, Candace has a long history of creative client management.  Extensive travel overseas to visit suppliers, as well as numerous trade show trips throughout North America, have given her an incredible insight into all facets of the tea business.

Candace recommends: Canadian Breakfast Tea

Al Cardenas, Tea Master Level 1
With more than a decade in the hospitality business and more than a half-decade in tea, Al’s attention to service is exemplary. With a degree in business, extensive experience traveling the tea world and tri-lingual ability (Spanish, English and French) his high energy and enthusiasm for serving our clients makes him an integral member of our team.

Al recommends: Earthly Paradise Jasmine

Chris Clark, Senior Tea Consultant
Chris balances our sales force with a calm and metered approach to business. In his time in the tea trade, the quest for the world’s best teas has already taken him to Kenya. A university education in marketing coupled with first hand experience dealing with our suppliers and growers means he can answer any tea question our clients might have. And they have a lot of them.

Chris recommends: Kenya White Rhino Matcha

Christina Tsiktsiris, Senior Tea Consultant

Christina is a quick tea-learner with several years experience in the tea trade. Her extensive customer service training also means she’s an expert in helping clients achieve goals. Interestingly, an educational background in interior design helps her in this regard as it gives her insight into the way well planned retail environments can help boost sales.

Christina recommends: Vanilla Chai blended with Yorkshire Harrogate

Sarita Bhinda, Senior Tea Consultant

Originally from Mauritius, (until recently, a tea growing island), Sarita brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in commodities trading to the sales floor at Metro Tea. Hard working, well educated and bi-lingual (English & French), Sarita’s tea knowledge and patience have made her an invaluable member of our team since her first day in 2007.

Sarita recommends: Long Island Strawberry Green Tea


Bill Wismer – Warehouse and Production General Manager
Bill recommends: Rooibos Provence

Alberto Hauyon – Shipping Manager
Alberto recommends: Shanghai Lichee Jasmine

Silvia Doebeli – Accounts Receivable Manager
Silvia recommends: Yorkshire Harrogate

Luis Hauyon – Accountant
Luis recommends: Organic Rooibos

Zamina Shaheed – Traffic Manager
Zamina recommends: Earl Grey

Chacha Hauyon – HACCP, GMP, NOP and Quality Assurance Manager
Chacha recommends: Cochin Masala Chai

Learn how our company and experience can help you take advantage of the world of specialty teas

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