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Want to be a tea sommelier? What’s a career in this unusual field really like?

Written By | Jan 31, 2018
how to become a tea sommelier

Become a tea sommelier.

WASHINGTON, January 31, 2018: When it comes to the topics of tea and tea drinking countries, what is the first country that comes to mind? Most people would choose England. But while they do drink a lot of tea in England, it’s mostly the bagged variety that gets consumed. That’s exactly what tea sommelier, Lisa McDonald, tells us is the wrong way to drink tea. As a tea professional, Lisa MacDonald says loose leaf tea is the way to go when it comes to getting the best quality and flavor from your cup of tea.

Lisa is the owner of Teahaus and Eat More Tea, a pair of tea-centric establishments located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Lisa trained for her unusual profession as a tea sommelier in Germany, a country that has the strictest tea standards in the world. You heard that right. A tea sommelier, not a wine sommelier, a profession that’s far better known around the world.

During a previous career as a consultant, Lisa found herself in Germany. That’s where she first got the notion to strike out on a new and more exotic career in the tea business. This, in turn, led her to undertake the four-years of education and training necessary to become a certified tea sommelier in that country while she was there.

That decicion was the logical choice.

Read also: Iceland: Three must do day trips filled with natural wonder and food

Lisa notes that while there are now many online degrees and courses for becoming a tea sommelier in 2018, nothing comes close to the training that a career tea sommelier must go through in Germany. While that level of training and certification is not required to open a tea shop here, it helps considerably when it comes to your ability to educate your customers in the finer points of tea.

Interested in the finer points of tea? Should you find yourself in Ann Arbor, be sure to visit Teahaus and Eat More Tea while you’re there. You can sample different kinds of teas in either shop before deciding which one you’ll you’ll want to take home. At Eat More Tea, you can also sample some tasty desserts made with tea flavorings which add a depth of flavor you won’t find elsewhere. Even the gelato at Eat More Tea is spiced with tea.

Best of all, if you can’t make it to Ann Arbor any time soon, you can order tea, tea products and accessories via either location’s website.

But the best thing about your visit will be cooking and baking back at home by taking home one or more of their tea spice blends, which are available for purchase onsite or via the Eat More Tea website. Learn what intriguing dishes you can make at home with these tea blends.

At Eat More Tea, you can also sample some tasty desserts made with tea flavorings, which add a depth of flavor you won’t find elsewhere. Even the gelato at Eat More Tea is spiced with tea.

Have more questions on the finer points of tea?

Want to be a tea sommelier?

In her informative podcast below, entitled “So you think you want to be a tea sommelier,” Lisa shares the following topics with us:

  • How many teas must a tea sommelier learn to be able to distinguish among the many available varieties?
  • What are myths concerning tea and teas that people still believe in?
  • What does Lisa think about companies like once-trending Teavana chain, and why do they generally fail?
  • What other careers and career areas can you choose as an expert tea sommelier?

Malika Bowling

Malika Bowling is the author of Food Lovers’ Guide to Atlanta and Food Blogging 101. She has been featured on HGTV, Playboy, Chowhound and Travelgirl and has been a contributing writer to USA Today. Malika also has served as a judge at various culinary competitions and food festivals, including The World Food Championships, where she is a certified judge. Besides food, travel is her passion and her most recent adventure is leading international culinary trips.