Sitting in at a Tea Sommelier Course

In July, Julie kindly invited me to check out the first Singapore run of the Australian Tea Masters Certified Tea Sommelier Course held at the Devan Nair Institute for Employment and Employability (e2i).

I dropped in on the 2nd day of the two-day course and had so much fun! While the course is positioned for F&B professionals who want to find out more about specialty tea, it’s really for anyone who wants to find out more about appreciating and serving good tea.

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Julie and Sharyn (founder of Australian Tea Masters) were the instructors for the course but they also brought in some tea-loving F&B people to share their knowledge as well (more on that later). What I like most about the way these two ladies deliver tea knowledge is the hands-on approach – there’s lots of tasting, looking, feeling of tea leaves and plenty of pretty photos to help participants really get in touch with a wide array of tea and tea service options. They explain everything simply (none of the over-the-top descriptions, they just really love tea!) and encourage participants to share their tasting notes with every brew they sample.

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Besides getting some tips on cold-brewing tea from Darren Chang of Necessary Provisions (and his tea-expert wife Hongyuan), there was also an awesome tea & food pairing session with Dave Lim of Sun Ray/Parchmen & Co. Above is a Warm Duck Salad with Balsamic Vinagrette with an amazingly complex Uganda CTC (cold-dripped with a My Dutch coffee maker).

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My favourite part was coming up with creative tea beverages with Carel Soo of Flavors Atelier – the whole idea of using liquids of different densities to create multi-coloured drinks is definitely something I’ll try the next time there’s a small party at my place!

Towards the end of the course, Sharyn encouraged us to come up with our own tea-food pairing menu and it was lovely to hear all the scrumptious combinations (many of the participants own or work for  cafes….it would be lovely seeing these menus become a reality at some point!)

The course also comes with a huge bag of tea samples and a comprehensive “Course in Tea Sommerlier Book”. As someone who is sometimes an educator, I’d say that this is a course that has been carefully thought-out and provides a good balance of theoretical and practical knowledge.

Official course description:
Conducted by Certified Tea Masters and Tea Trainers of Australian Tea Masters, the 17-hour structured course seeks to enhance the skills and knowledge of F&B professionals in providing professional advice, selection, preparation and service of specialty tea. It provides an overview of the commodity’s history, biology, origins, production methods and impact of terroir, which refers to the soil, climate, altitude and location of the plantation upon which the tea is grown. The trainers will guide learners on tea selection process using sensory evaluation skills, specialized tea preparation techniques, tea and food pairing with high-standard tea sommelier service to elevate dining experiences.

The Australian Tea Masters Singapore will also be running Certified Tea Blending and Certified Tea Master courses in Singapore. Very exciting!

For more information on these tea courses, please contact Australian Tea Masters Singapore at julie@australianteamasters.com.au

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