Tea has now become an everyday drink in people’s lives. Nowadays, several people are moving away from coffee and choosing tea as their first drink of the day. It has become a must-have in everyone’s kitchen as it not only soothes the body but also gets you ready for the day.
However, as much as the love for tea has grown, not everyone is able to make the perfect tea at home, as tea making has now become a special skill similar to winemaking.
What are teamakers called?
Teamakers are now known as tea sommeliers, similar to how winemakers are known as wine sommeliers. A tea sommelier is a certified title given to those who have taken teamaking classes or attended special teamaking programs. A tea maker can also be called a tea master, tea specialist, or tea barista.
Origins of the Word Tea Sommelier
As the term “tea sommelier” takes from “wine sommelier,” it can easily be inferred that the origins of the phrase lie not in the world of tea-making but in winemaking and wine waiting.
The word “sommelier” has French origins and is usually used to refer to a wine waiter. Language experts suggest that the word may have stemmed from the old French words, “somier”, “sommerier”, and “bête de somme.”
In French royal history, the sommelier was the official in charge of choosing, tasting, and checking the king’s wine for poison.
It is not certain when the word sommelier got connected to tea making, however, it is the official term used now for a professional tea maker.
Difference between Tea master and Tea specialist
In today’s day and age, people refer to anyone who specializes in teamaking as a tea master or tea specialist. However, back in the day, people in Japan referred to experts in tea making as tea masters since teamaking ceremonies were and still are a big part of their culture.
Tea specialists, on the other hand, were known as people that had a lot of in-depth information about different types of tea, their benefits, and their storage methods. Tea specialists would also taste test tea to make sure that the tea was brewed properly.
Who are Tea Baristas?
Within the teamaking world, tea masters are not commonly known as tea baristas, as this is a term most often used for people who make coffee. Tea and coffee are two very different drinks, and both have their own special methods of making them. Tea masters are most commonly referred to as tea sommeliers or tea specialists.
How do you become a professional teamaker?
To become a professional tea maker, you will first need to have an undying passion for it, as it will take a lot of time and effort to perfect this craft. You can follow these five tips that will help you become the best teamaker:
1. Dedicate enough time to the craft
In order to become a tea master, you would need to dedicate a lot of time to it. The majority of the world’s most renowned tea makers spend up to two years trying to learn how to recognize, taste, and classify tea.
Tea masters go through several tests so that they are able to fully hone this skill. Many tea makers in training have monthly blind taste tests. With this rigorous amount of training, one will be able to identify every characteristic of a tea within a few seconds. You would be able to know what it could sell for, what grade tea it is, what the aroma is like, and the mouthfeel of the tea as well.
2. Find the perfect food pairing
Similar to how wine experts know what food would pair well with their wine, tea masters should be able to do the same. If you want to become a tea master, then you must think of things beyond just the taste of tea.
3. Educate yourself
This amazing drink has been consumed for decades, and when it comes to becoming a tea master, not only is it important to know how to care for a tea plant, but you too must learn about its history to fully understand the best teamaking methods.
What jobs can be done by a professional teamaker?
Professional teamakers, or otherwise known as tea sommeliers, are certified by tea academies and are able to get jobs almost anywhere around the world. Most tea sommeliers will usually work in restaurants where they look into brewing their own unique tea and creating a special tea menu.
A tea sommelier’s job is to brew different types of tea and pair them with the perfect food combination. Thus, this means you will need to know your teas really well in order for you to find a food that does not change the taste of the tea while you consume something with it.
You will sometimes see tea sommeliers being hired on roadside tea shops, but they’re also hired at upscale restaurants as well where tea is given the utmost priority. Once you too become a tea sommelier, you can start your own business by opening a tea shop.
Your extensive knowledge and expertise in different types of teas will help you create a menu instantly for your own business. Though this process will take some time, if you believe in your teamaking skills, then it is the best path to take.
Tea sommeliers can earn around 150,000 dollars per year once you have been in the industry for a while and have a lot of experience. Generally, new tea sommeliers earn up to 78,000 dollars per year.
Things to know about teamaker certifications
The majority of teamaker certifications, also known as tea sommelier programs, do not need you to have any prior knowledge about tea in order to apply for classes. The programs offer detailed coursework that often covers all of the basics about tea culture and its history.
However, it is unlikely that a person seeking to get tea sommelier certification lacks knowledge on teamaking. But still, it is important for everyone who wants to become a tea sommelier to have a little bit of knowledge about it.
Most tea sommelier courses have high prices for certification classes; thus, they are likely to accommodate people who only have a little bit of knowledge on the subject. Nevertheless, there is still a bit of expectation that the students who enter this course are passionate enough to research teas on their own and learn about their history as well.
Frequently asked questions about teamakers
What teas should teamakers be most familiar with?
Teamakers must be familiar with the six true teas, which as known as pu-er, black, white, yellow, oolong, and green.
Do all teamakers need to take the same exams to become an expert?
There are no standardized tests for becoming a master tea maker. Every program or certification will have its own requirement for you to pass.