My purpose for writing this is not to denigrate anyone’s knowledge of and skill with tea, nor to suggest that anyone should not parlay the love and knowledge of tea into a profitable business. It’s just that “Tea Master” seems a rather grandiose and presumptuous title to adopt, or confer, as a result of taking courses, passing tests, and perhaps visiting some tea-growing, tea-processing, and tea-service facilities on a more or less tourist basis. There are people who have worked on tea plantations all their lives, and who have mastered many aspects of tea production and usage, who do not identify as Tea Masters. It is not a title to be bandied about lightly, nor conferred on anyone who has not spent a long lifetime involved with tea.
Back when I was studying psychology in college, one of our profs explained to us the requirements for being an expert witness in a court of law. To be accepted as an expert witness, a person must convince a judge and opposing counsel that s/he has more knowledge of a topic than the average person; this is done by demonstrating that they teach, consult, write about, or otherwise make their living or are recognized in the community as having this kind of experience and expertise. According to that definition, I am quite willing — as I suspect most of us are — to grant that anyone who has spent a significant portion of their time learning, teaching, consulting, writing about, or otherwise making their living in any area related to tea is indeed a tea expert. But “Tea Master?” No indeed. I admit that I subscribe to the “posthumous” designation for this title, and am unable to respect anyone who identifies themself with the title.
Friend TeaGuide on Facebook
Contact us by email about reviewing your tea or tea-related product, or to be interviewed.
We love to hear your comments!
All content Copyright 2007-2015 JP Badarau; all rights reserved.
My previous posts (part 1 and part 2) detailed the experiences of a first-time exhibitor at WTE. I also had the opportunity to step out of my booth and walk the aisles, check out all the other booths, view exciting new teas and tea products, and meet with and talk to some of the most knowledgeable people in the tea industry.
Read the full article at English Tea Store Blog.
Follow TeaGuide on Twitter @TeaGuide1
Friend TeaGuide on Facebook
Contact us about reviewing your tea or tea-related product.
# # # #
Tea Business School — Tea Advice
Consumers and B2B
I’m almost willing to bet that at some point every tea drinker entertains the idea of getting into a tea business. Hey, you love the stuff, so why not find a way to make money with it? For some this is just a daydream, but plenty of people have turned their daydreams into reality.
A few tea lovers are fortunate to have worked for or apprenticed at a successful tea business, giving them a head start to setting up their own businesses — but there’s always more to learn. Maybe you’ve just decided to move from teacup meditations to exploring tea house ownership, and you want to know how to start turning your lifestyle into a livelihood. Or perhaps you’re a current tea business owner looking to expand your offerings or keep up with the newest tea trends.
In other words, you need some tea education. And in 2007, where do you turn first? The Web!
Recently I was invited to sit in on a tele-seminar offered by Tea Business School. Based in Vancouver, Washington, owner Jennifer Peterson has been consulting, training, teaching, and speaking at seminars for a number of years. (I actually met Jennifer for the first time when we were both speakers at TakeMe2Tea Expo in Las Vegas.) Earlier this year she entered the high-tech world of online classes.Having designed off-line and online computer courseware in a previous life, I was delighted to have the opportunity to participate.
The skill-building seminar, on blending and flavouring teas, took the form of a slide show presentation and talk by Wolfgang Boehmer of Flavor Dynamics, Inc. My own background is quite limited in this area, and I was very interested to see the actual step-by-step on a professional level.
Interactive voice and chat allows Q&A — you’ll need a telephone connection to dial the toll-free number to hear and to ask questions. I used Yahoo Messenger’s call system, and it worked just fine with computer speakers and mic.
Tea Business School offers a wide variety of seminars ranging from focus on different tea-growing regions, to various types of skills to enhance your business offerings, to universal and tea-specific business skills. Some seminars are suitable for everyone, from tea professional to interested consumer, while others are clearly targeted to current or aspiring tea business owners.
In addition to a telephone line, you’ll need software to play the presentation, so get to the “classroom” early to make sure your system is properly set up. Some seminars are also available on CD. And Jennifer offers a number of other educational and consulting services. If tea is your business, or your passion — or both! — check it out.
Contact us about reviewing your tea-related product or service.
# # # #