Certified Tea Sommelier: What it takes to become one

In recent years, specialty teas have grown in popularity, revolutionising the tea industry. These teas, which are frequently sourced from particular locations and meticulously prepared, offer a variety of distinct flavours and smells that cater to the different interests of tea connoisseurs. Specialty teas have captivated the interest of tea aficionados all over the world, with floral and fruity infusions to unusual and exotic mixes. Furthermore, these teas are well-known for their health advantages, as they are generally high in antioxidants and other natural components that promote health. This has not only elevated the overall tea-drinking experience but has also created many more opportunities in the industry. A tea sommelier is one of those.

A Tea Sommelier is someone who specialises in tea and tisanes knowledge. These professionals have received training in selecting great tea, preparing it, and matching it with other dishes. 

To become an expert tea sommelier, you must possess these 5 qualities:

different types of tea

  1. Identify and contrast between the several types of tea by flavour and aroma: You must concentrate on four primary groups: black tea, white tea, green tea, and oolong tea
    a man inhaling the aroma of tea
  2. To know the origin and history of various teas: One has to be eager to gain knowledge about tea. If that doesn’t interest you, then you might have to reconsider a career in this field. 
    a man evaluating the vitalities of tea
  3. A skilled Tea Sommelier understands what makes each sort of tea unique in terms of vitality, health, and even scent. 
    tea party, food pairing with tea
  4. Knowing the correct choice of food to pair with each tea for the best flavours and experience. 
    Brewing tea/ pouring tea
  5. Knowing how to brew a quality cup of tea for the best experience. It takes trying different methods and finding out what's the most suitable.

However, someone does not become a Sommelier simply because they enjoy tea. A career in tea is required to become a certified Tea Sommelier.

a stamp with 'certification' written on it.

The Path to Certification:

The training programme includes classes on the history of tea, tea production, processing, and grading standards, sensory development, health advantages, and business, all of which serve to make you a well-rounded tea expert. 

To be professionally recognized, you must first complete years of training in a reputable and accepted tea academy.

Some of the best tea sommelier certification courses worldwide:

  1. International Tea Masters Association (ITMA) - United States
  2. Tea and Herbal Association of Canada (THAC) - Canada
  3. UK Tea Academy - United Kingdom
  4. World Tea Academy - United States
  5. Australian Tea Masters - Australia
  6. Tea Sommelier Academy - Germany
  7. Japan Tea Instructor Association (JTIA) - Japan
  8. Tea Masters Association (TMA) - China
  9. Tea Board of India - Tea Tasting and Tea Sommelier Certification
  10. Indian Tea Association (ITA) - Certified Tea Taster and Tea Sommelier Program
'Helpful Tips' written on a small piece of board

Finally, here’s a few points to keep in mind before you start off with your career in tea:

  1. Pursue your passion: Appreciate tea and learn all there is to know about it.
  2. Acquire real-world experience by working in businesses that specialise in tea to expand your knowledge and palate.
  3. Network and connect: Participate in tea gatherings to meet experts and enthusiasts in the field.
  4. Stay up-to-date: Continue to educate yourself on the newest methods and trends in tea.
  5. Travel and explore: To increase your expertise, visit various tea-growing locations.
  6. Develop your communication skills so you can explain the subtleties and histories of various teas.
  7. Be flexible and inventive: Try out various flavours, combinations, and brewing techniques.

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