Pittsburgh’s first International Tea Masters Association’s (ITMA) Tea Mastery Certification Course was held May 8th – 10th. This intensive three-day training was the first step towards achieving the prestigious Certified Tea Master designation, the most respected title in the tea industry. The training, conducted by ITMA Certified Tea Master Daniel Johnson, L.Ac. , was the first course of its kind on the East Coast of the United States. A diverse group of registrants contributed to the dynamic course through their backgrounds in a broad range of culinary arts, 5-star dining services, and international business consulting, making this course truly REMARKABLE!
Over the course of three days, the students followed the “Way of Tea,” while learning the Chinese five elements of Tea Mastery. ITMA instructor Daniel Johnson facilitated an experiential learning course instructing the foundational wisdom required for a contemporary Tea Master.
Learning practical meditation exercises, advanced sensory and awareness exercises, and botanical science, the Way of Tea was revealed through the perspective of Chinese medical philosophy and Western science. Students were introduced to the deeply rooted elements and history of Tea Mastery through provision of a time-honored method for discovering tea, service, and a present-centered lifestyle.
A significant amount of material was covered in an in-depth journey into the history of tea, classification of tea, and the science of brewing. Tasting and evaluating 40 premium loose-leaf teas, students learned professional cupping alongside the culturally distinct tea service methods of Chinese gongfu cha and Japanese senchado.
Feedback comments from the registrants at the conclusion of the course revealed a unanimous sense of invigoration and excitement. What they learned and experienced went far beyond their initial expectations. Students completed the first part of the two-part course and left the mountainous, lushly green Pittsburgh region feeling inspired, encouraged, and transformed on their journey of becoming a Certified Tea Master.
By ITMA Certified Tea Master Daniel Johnson