Category Archives: Tea Education

How to Find a Green Tea Kit Kat and Other Secret Tea Delights from Asia

As promised I would like you to take you with me on exploring tea finds in this wonderful part of Southeast Asia. I would to start with small daily observation. I noticed that in contrast to Italy, were I had to made quite an effort to find good tea, here in Myanmar tea will find me.

As a new tea sommelier my willingness to find new, exciting things about tea is omnipresent. As part of my journey with you I would like to share interesting little items I came across, some you might be well familiar with and some might come as a surprise to you.

Tea Drinks

matcha-smoothieEverywhere you go, there is an opportunity to drink some awesome tea. One amazing drink I discovered are matcha smoothies, a bright green colored drink with a strong presence of matcha flavors.

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Reflecting on the 2016 World Tea Expo

Since it ended in July, I’m probably the last person to be writing a blog about the 2016 WORLD TEA EXPO, but the event was just so important and amazing that I still need to write down my thoughts.

Born as a Christmas Market idea in Germany, became reality early in 2016 as I was approaching the finish line of my 52 week training to become a tea sommelier.

The program included a final graduation ceremony held during the World Tea Expo in Las Vegas, USA. First I dismissed this idea due to the tremendous logistical challenges this was presenting (I was living in Rome, Italy to be assigned somewhere else in the world). But somehow with a lot of moral support from Ms. Tea we shifted our agenda around, planned our family visit to Boston around that time to hand over the kids to the grandparents and took the plunge and made reservations for the Expo.

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Why Tea Eggs and Easter Are Not a Good Combo – Tasting Notes

Getting a good cup of tea can be achieved in many ways. Dipping a tea bag into hot water  or using a tea egg are certainly practical ways to make tea (although not the most recommended from my side).

But there are so many other ways to get to the finish line. As part of my studies I focused on different angles and techniques. I would like to share with you three of these angles – Cold brew, Multiple infusions and the type of container to use. I am sharing with you some of the tasting notes, and as my teacher would say: “Tasting is the tea professional’s most valuable skill!”

I am using the same water, filtered water using a Brita filter. The tasting notes describe every single element of the tasting , the leaves in different condition, the tea liquor, the aromas and the flavors. It’s very hard to find the right words, but you can choose descriptions you are most comfortable with.

Experiment 1 – Cold brew

21704741_mug2Cold brewing tea is becoming more and more popular in recent years, most of all during the summer months. I really enjoy using this method as it brings out the amino acids and sweet tastes.

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Meet an Amazing Infusion: Neavita’s Peach and Mint

Infusions are relatively new to me. When I was a kid, everything was tea to me. When I would get sick, tea was the cure. I had a cough and a few minutes later I was given tea with mostly herbal ingredients. I got the flu, I got some Chamomile. I had a stomach pain, I would get some Melissa. It would always be served with some lemon or honey in it and was quite comforting.

Neavita’s Peach and Mint

In Germany, tea (or so I thought) is sold in pharmacies. I saw tea always as a medicine and closely linked to health benefits. In the US you don’t see this so much and tea is mostly sold in supermarkets in tea bags but is not so closely linked to health benefits.

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A Special Tea for my Yixing Tea Pot.

When I decided to get my first Yixing tea pot, I wanted to be a purist and dedicate it to only one special tea. Inspired by a famous watch commercial my mantra is: “You don’t own a Yixing tea pot, you merely look after it for the next generation.”

My goal is to turn this into a generational piece for my kids.  I had to think long and hard about which tea to choose. I wanted it to be a tea where I know as much as possible about it, down to the individual farmer who made it.

My favorite teaMy pick finally went for a Chinese Oolong tea, Huang Zhi Xiang Dan Cong (Gardenia Dan Cong). I truly enjoy Dan Cong teas, the tea of ‘many tastes’ and I have tasted several varieties over the years. There are 12 main varieties of Dan Cong teas with different aromas and such beautiful names like Honey Orchid, Ginger Flower, Almond, Gardenia and Magnolia.

I picked a tea that is complex, has an interesting aroma and flavor profile and it will be interesting to see how the flavor profile develops over time (and hopefully generations) while using the same Yixing tea pot. I am fascinated by the mystery and the depth of Chinese Oolong teas. I have a similar passion for Wuyi Shan Oolongs.

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Do You Know Where Your Tea Comes From? A Crash Course

Let’s Start With Some Tea Basics: My visit to Limuru, Kenya

Limuru Tea

Limuru Tea

What better way to introduce tea to you is then to show you. I had the tremendous opportunity a few weeks ago to visit the Limuru region just north of Nairobi, Kenya. My goal was to visit the Maraba tea factory, which specialized in CTC (Crush Tear Curl) Black Tea production. It’s basically what you find in tea bags and blends.

Even though tea bag tea is not my favorite, I got inspired by tea legend Mr. James Norwood Pratt, who said that we cannot snub tea bags and tea bag drinkers as a large number of people around the world use tea bags. They like it and it is convenient. I believe that describing this type of tea processing is a good starting point many of you are familiar with and we can only go up from here. In the coming months I will show you WHY loose leaf tea is better and tastier.

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Master of the Art and Science of Tea: Join Me On My Journey

This post is a continuation of  “Why Do You Like Tea So Much?” -My Backstory and Life As a Tea Specialist (And Why My Wife Wants to Kill Me).

I often get asked the question: Why do you like tea so much? I can best sum it up by looking at my tea past, present and future.


What will be next? My dream remains to attend my graduation ceremony at the World Tea Academy at the biggest event – the World Tea Expo! It will be held in June this year in Las Vegas and we hope to actually make it there.


tea master

Join me on my journey to become a Tea Master. (Image from

My educational journey will continue. I am also a member of the International Tea Masters Association (ITMA) and hope to become a Tea Master one day. Wish me luck and I am sure you will read all about it here on the blog.

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Life As a Tea Specialist (And Why My Wife Wants to Kill Me)

This post is a continuation of  “Why Do You Like Tea So Much?” -My Backstory

I often get asked the question: Why do you like tea so much? I can best sum it up by looking at my tea past, present and future.


The next level has been for me the World Tea Academy. Without quitting my day job, I was able to start a professional online education. It is a demanding and hard road to travel but one filled with knowledge and excitement.

A recent photo of my wife and I

A recent photo of my wife and I

Since May of 2015, every week has been filled with essays, assignments, research studies, quizzes, exams, class room discussions and most of all – professional cuppings. Our kitchen is filled (something Ms. Tea is not too keen about sometimes) with professional cupping sets as far as the eye can see. This, together, with my tea collection with teas from over 40 countries and tea equipment from all over the world, and you have a tea lover’s dream laboratory.


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