Advice on Tea as a Career

For general/other topics related to tea.

Aug 21st 13 3:43 am
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Advice on Tea as a Career

by jingle » Aug 21st 13 3:43 am

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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Aug 21st 13 3:17 pm
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Re: Advice on Tea as a Career

by Evan Draper » Aug 21st 13 3:17 pm

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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Aug 21st 13 5:27 pm
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Re: Advice on Tea as a Career

by teaisme » Aug 21st 13 5:27 pm

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

Aug 25th 13 12:15 am
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Re: Advice on Tea as a Career

by jingle » Aug 25th 13 12:15 am

Thanks for the advice! Do you have any recommendations on places to train other than ATMA?

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Aug 27th 13 4:46 pm
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Re: Advice on Tea as a Career

by gingkoseto » Aug 27th 13 4:46 pm

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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Sep 2nd 13 5:48 am
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Re: Advice on Tea as a Career

by teaisme » Sep 2nd 13 5:48 am

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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Nov 29th 15 8:31 pm
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Re: Advice on Tea as a Career

by Frisbeehead » Nov 29th 15 8:31 pm

hailo wrote:Hi teaisme, Do you suggest which language is the best to learn :?: I know Chinese is good but is there any other language to start an online store after domain hosting as a career . I fear but have choose some career like this so that can lead a better life.
English and Chinese would be the two most useful languages. There are other big markets for tea in Russia and in eastern Europe so Russian could possibly be useful. But Chinese and English are the best to know I'd imagine, given the size of the American and British tea markets.

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Nov 29th 15 10:44 pm
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Re: Advice on Tea as a Career

by kuánglóng » Nov 29th 15 10:44 pm

Since no one else has mentioned it so far ... if you're really serious about tea you might want to consider traveling to some major tea growing areas: China (Yunnan/Fujian/Guangdong) - India (Darjeeling/Assam), Taiwan and Japan, preferably during the harvest seasons. I've been to India and China many times, have lived and worked in Nepal and Darjeeling for some years and had the time of my life back then. Being able to speak some Nepali isn't exactly necessary in most places up there but it can help a lot to open some hearts and doors and adds immeasureably to enjoying the experience. I'm recently studying Mandarin to make my next visits to chinese growing reasons more worthwile (and fun :lol: ).
Good luck!

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Nov 29th 15 10:46 pm
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Re: Advice on Tea as a Career

by JBaymore » Nov 29th 15 10:46 pm

I'd add Japanese to the Chinese and English.

best,

..............john

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Nov 30th 15 2:33 am
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Re: Advice on Tea as a Career

by Frisbeehead » Nov 30th 15 2:33 am

JBaymore wrote:I'd add Japanese to the Chinese and English.

best,

..............john
Wow...I'm not sure how I forgot that one :shock: