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.
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.
My teacher and tea role model is Donna Fellmann who has the incredible ability to motivate her students to keep up with the demanding workload. She is surrounded by an amazing team of tea educators and enablers to produce up to date content on all the different topics.
In November 2015 I was able to reach my first goal: to cross over the line from an enthusiastic tea drinker to a professional Certified Tea Specialist. It feels great. It gives me a bit of grounding. But for me it is just the beginning of a new road. We are now in 2016 and I am continuing to work hard to achieve my next goal: Certified Tea Sommelier.
What keeps me going is most importantly one thing: people. Over the past few years I’ve met some of the nicest, most passionate people one can imagine. Ms. Tea can confirm, a visit to a tea store or tea room is no quick thing for me– it takes at least 30 minutes to an hour.
I have met amazing people who love to talk tea and exchange ideas and opinions about favorite teas and brewing techniques. (Tip: Whenever you have the chance, go visit a small family run tea store, it will be balm for your soul. When you meet a tea person who can tell you all about where the tea is from, how it is made and how to best prepare it, make sure you pick up some tea there as you will be sure to get good quality.)
My tea journey reached new heights just a few weeks ago – I went from learning about tea to actually roaming the tea fields of Kenya, plucking tea leafs and visiting a tea factory and learning about the black tea production process (one of the very next blog posts will be about this journey).