Becoming A Tea Master September 30 2014posted by
I’d say I’m far from bearing the title of, “Tea Master.” But I do consider myself to be a tea connoisseur of sorts. I know there are some individuals who spend their wholes lives mastering the art of tea, from growing a variety to focusing solely on cultivating a single blend. I’m not one of those individuals, although for roughly $3,487.50 I could actually become certified as a Professional Tea Master. (I kid you not guys, this is the real deal.) They even have an International Tea Masters Association with a full training program. If you are interested: (www.teamasters.org) But tea mastery aside I am a firm believer that each individuals experience with tea, whether you consider yourself a master or not, is as unique as the leaves that form each cup. There are some simple steps to becoming your ‘own’ tea master.
- Signature flavor/blend –All of the major Tea Masters according to: org have a signature blend. Some have cultivated a variety but in either case each master has a unique and distinct flavor, one that speaks to them. It’s personal and therefor in a way it defines them. You don’t have to be a Tea Master to have your own blend, or favorite flavor. I’ve definitely developed my personal taste and I have a few favorites of my own. Although I don’t have one flavor that’s strictly my all time favorite, Earl Grey stands as one of my go-tos! I’m also branching out to enjoy other varieties such as Oolong, and a variety of Black teas as well. Find a flavor that you enjoy, and one that you can sip on whenever, wherever.
- Perfecting the art of the brew: Brew time is everything when it comes to tea, it’s what allows the leaves to expand resulting in optimal flavor and coloring. Each blend and variety is different, and there are certain varieties that require longer steep times and those that require less. A good rule of thumb is to check the labeling. It’s usually a great way to determine length of steep time. Use a thermometer, this will ensure that you don’t over brew or steep at a temperature that’s too hot. That can result in bitter tasting tea.
- Setting: When it comes to tea drinking, your setting is almost as important as the tea itself. So, find a comfortable corner, or nook and make that your tea-sanctuary. Decorate the area with things that make you feel good. Whether it’s incents, candles or perhaps surrounding yourself with some images that make you feel relaxed and at ease. You want your setting to reflect you and your style. Have fun, and allow yourself to be as creative as possible.
- Communi-tea: In other countries tea is often consumed in groups or in a setting with friends and family. Cultivate your tea-circle, perhaps you have close friends with whom enjoy tea as much as you. Dedicate one day a month to spend it with them. Take turns enjoying tea at one another’s home-tea-sanctuaries. Invite friends and family who aren’t used to drinking tea. Make it fun, enjoyable and most of all memorable. Encourage each individual to bring a brand or variety to so everyone can try different blends.
(These are not at all indorsed or supported by teamasters.org nor do they reflect actual steps to, ‘mastering tea’ these are personal opinion, i.e. take them with a grain of salt.)
Whatever your steps are to becoming a Master of Tea, make sure it’s unique and represents you. Take time to savor the moment. Perhaps add in a special cup and saucer set or set of mugs that are strictly just for you and your tea process. I know each person and palate is unique, make your process as unique as possible too!