Brian R. Keating, 62, a specialty tea visionary, well-respected tea blender, formulator, market researcher and consultant died Sunday, Sept. 2.
Keating was visiting long-time friend Mary Greengo at her Queen Mary Tea Room in Seattle when he collapsed in the Tea Emporium. Paramedics responded. He was later pronounced dead at the University of Washington Medical Center.
Keating worked in the tea industry for more than 30 years. His marketing reports, first published in 1993, foretold the growth of specialty tea industry. Sage Group published 10 “Specialty Tea is Hot” reports on every facet of the industry, co-authored several culinary works and “How to Make Tea” (2016) a consumer title distributed globally.
Keating was the first tea buyer and blend-master at Whole Foods Market (via its subsidiary Allegro Coffee) where he was responsible for creating 40 new tea products in a lab of his design. He previously owned one of America’s most successful specialty tea shops and cafés.
Keating pioneered may innovative tea beverages including the first tea-based energy drink, SPORTea. His role with World Tea Expo dates to the inception of the event.
Plans for a celebration of his life are underway.
Services are pending.