Advice on Tea as a Career


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Advice on Tea as a Career

Postby jingle » Aug 20th, '13, 23:43

Hello TeaChaters,

I am looking to slowly change careers over the next 2 to 3 years (or more if needed) and want to pursue a career in tea as either a sommelier for restaurants or to be a taster/buyer for a tea company. I'm considering taking a course to become a tea master via the American Tea Masters Association this coming fall and wondering if others have heard of it, whether it would be recommended to take this step at this point and what other advice those here on TeaChat may have about getting into the tea business. Also let me know if I should be posting this question to another board on this site if its more appropriate. Thanks for any advice :D
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Re: Advice on Tea as a Career

Postby Evan Draper » Aug 21st, '13, 11:17

jingle wrote:American Tea Masters Association

Not worth the money. Plenty of other programs out there if you want to impress someone with credentials.

"Tea tasters" usually need a solid background in food chemistry to get their foot in the door, if they haven't lucked into a situation otherwise.

A "tea sommelier" should have many years of solid experience in fine dining (i.e. food/beverage manager, chef/server/bartender at least) or wholesaling (i.e. purchaser), otherwise they don't provide enough value to a restaurant.

I think you have the best chance parlaying your current expertise into a congruent position with a tea company. Spend several more years drinking tea and you will realize there is a lot more to know than what ATMA can teach you. Many other people have asked about tea careers on this forum before--take some time to search and see what people have said.
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Re: Advice on Tea as a Career

Postby teaisme » Aug 21st, '13, 13:27

ugh stay far away from atma, unless your rolling in the money and realize what they have to teach you is just a drop in the ocean and strictly opinion, not fact, like they would want you to believe :D
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Re: Advice on Tea as a Career

Postby jingle » Aug 24th, '13, 20:15

Thanks for the advice! Do you have any recommendations on places to train other than ATMA?
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Re: Advice on Tea as a Career

Postby gingkoseto » Aug 27th, '13, 12:46

I have no idea about training programs. But who are hiring or have hired a tea taster or tea sommelier? :?:
As for tea buyers, I suspect the companies would look for qualities other than tea knowledge.
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Re: Advice on Tea as a Career

Postby teaisme » Sep 2nd, '13, 01:48

Right. Learning chinese could help in many ways. Starting a successful online store after you feel you have a good grip on what you and other people like might not hurt either. Drinking and brewing for others alot is always good learning exp. Finding tea groups and tea friends so connections and ideas come together etc good luck :D
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