Sebastian Beckwith

Tea Sommelier
Cornwall Bridge, CT

What he’s known for: Bringing the refined elegance of artisinal teas from around the world to the wedding table

Tea sommelier Sebastian Beckwith believes that his “cuisine level” teas have the same special place as wine at the wedding reception: warming, exotic, complicated and carefully selected for the couple. “Teas have as much depth as wine,” he says, “and they also have specific flavor profiles and histories. I like to think of each tea as containing worlds.” Beckwith, the head of the small importing company In Pursuit of Tea, is also an educator at New York City’s China Institute and the Institute for Culinary Education, and supplies the finest teas to such top New York City restaurants as Daniel and Gramercy Tavern – as well as to weddings. He encourages brides and grooms to make uncommon and personal tea selections. For a recent wedding, the tables were named after the teas that Beckwith chose to represent the groom’s Chinese and Taiwanese heritage. Each guest took home a sample of his or her table’s tea, along with a custom label commemorating the occasion. Some of Beckwith’s clients have even done tea pairings matching a different type of tea with each course of their wedding meal. –Yishane Lee

Modern Bride, June/July Issue 2006, 25 Trendsetters of 2006