Meet the prominent chefs,  restaurateurs, culinary experts, and authors behind our posters, prints, and cards.
Brian Keating
Brian Keating Brian was dubbed “The Tea King” (an anagram of his last name and perfectly descriptive of his career) by his friend and collaborator, Chef Tim Ziegler.

Brian had always enjoyed tea, but he first turned his full, and at times obsessive, attention to mastering the culture of tea when he became a proprietor of The TeaCup in Seattle. He believed that tea was not merely a commodity, but an artisan product. He tasted and tested a lot of tea, learned the distinctive characteristics and origins of all of them, and fell forever in love with Oolong.

Brian Keating and Tim Ziegler met at the Natural Foods Expo in Anaheim, California, in 1997. At that show they connected with Ten Speed Press, a publishing company who had an extensive library of cookbooks and posters. By the next year, they had signed a contract to produce a spice poster.

Tim had already been in the spice business for twelve years, but Brian presented him with a copy of a poster called Spices of Life, which he had written with his wife Karen. The content included an overview of seeds, herbs, citrus, onion and garlic, capsicums, black pepper, spices, and foundational blends from the world’s cuisines. Chef Zieg said it taught him an amazing amount about his own products.

Photographer Lois Ellen Frank came on to do the photography and the first edition of their spice was published in the summer of 2000. Brian and Tim went on to co-author an additional seven posters for Ten Speed. Brian had begun SageGroup, Inc. and in the early 1990s moved to Seattle. From there he singlehandedly developed SportTea. He also did a stint as Whole Foods Tea buyer and helped them enter the tea and spice business. There was no one in the tea business that he hadn’t talked to, consulted for, written copy for, developed flavored formulations for, or brokered or sold product to.

In memoriam: Brian passed away in 2018, but his contributions to the world of tea and spice will not be forgotten.