Special One Day Tea Sommelier Event,
November 26, 2017, Leuven,Belgium

Immerse yourself in a One Day Tea Sommelier Event on November 26, 2017, in Leuven,Belgium (suburb of Brussels).  The event is an opportunity to capture the incredible taste and aroma of some of the most exquisite, and often rarest, loose leaf teas from China, all in one day. Many teas cost hundreds of dollars a pound. Come and have tea with us and enjoy this special extravaganza with other tea enthusiasts.

The One Day Tea Sommelier Event will elevate your palate to a richer, superior level, just like wine lovers, so you can serve delicious, healthy tea to yourself, your family, close friends, and business acquaintances.  View the day’s events here.  It has been designed for individual tea aficionados.  It is also the prerequisite for those who wish to pursue Part 2 of the  ITMA Tea Sommelier Course™ for becoming an ITMA Certified Tea Sommelier™.  Part 2 Course Details are available here.  Cost for the full day event is $350 per person.

Part 2 of the ITMA Tea Sommelier Certification Course™ for becoming an ITMA Certified Tea Sommelier starts on November 27, 2017, with the 8-Week ITMA Tea Sommelier Tasting Course™ involving home study tasting and evaluating 18 different teas, and periodic online teleconferences to share experiences and ask questions. This will be followed by tasting and evaluating a Mystery Tea, a Report (oral or written) on a topic assigned by ITMA, and a Final Examination ($95 Examination Fee).  View Part 2 Tea Sommelier Curriculum here.

The training will be conducted in English at Offline (diestsestraat 208, 3000 Leuven).  It will be led by ITMA Certified Tea Sommelier and  ITMA Certified Tea Blender Stijn Van Schoonlandt. With a strong background in tea and blending, and proprietor of his own coffee and tea establishment in Belgium, he promises to make this an especially memorable, life-changing experience for everyone.

Cost of Part 2 of the program is $1,125 for ITMA Members.

The most expensive Puerh Tea?

The prices achieved in Chinese tea auctions for antique puerh teas never cease to amaze me. Like with wine or whiskey, it seems there is almost no limit to the prices that some people will pay for the rarest of the rare.

Read more

Silver Tips White Tea
From Greenwood Tea Estate

Today, I will be focusing on the Silver Tips White Tea from the Greenwood Tea Estate, located in the Kandy region of Sri Lanka. For more information on the Greenwood Tea Estate, please see my earlier review of their FBOPF EXSP Black Tea.

A fresh white tea from Sri Lanka is not a pleasure I have experienced since 2014. That silver tips white tea was from the Uva Halpewatte Estate in the Uva region of Sri Lanka. It will be interesting to compare today’s tea from the Kandy region with my memory of the one from Uva.

Silver tips white tea from Sri Lanka is a labor and time intensive product to create, and very limited in production, so it tends to fetch higher prices in the market, and can be difficult to come by in the U.S. However, if a fresh batch can be found, it is definitely worth tasting.

Let’s get to the review.

Greenwood Silver Tips White Tea – Dry Leaves

The dry leaves have a uniform appearance of silver-white with a charcoal black undertone. The buds are covered in fine silver hairs. There are no bare leaves, or bare stems, just mature buds that envelope a younger bud beneath. The buds are long and narrow, when compared to the more well-known silver needle teas from the Fujian province of China, which are thicker and plumper. The buds have a sickle shape, and a smooth, soft texture. The aroma has scents of honey, orchid, honeydew melon, and sweet dry hay.

4 grams of dry buds were placed in a 150 ml porcelain gaiwan, and infused with 185°F water for 3:00 minutes.

Greenwood Silver Tips White Tea – Liquid

The tea liquid had a pale, clean, light yellow color. The aroma had scents of honey, orchid, honeydew melon, sweet hay, vanilla, and a touch of fresh coconut water. The body is medium, with a velvety, luxurious texture. There is no bitterness or astringency. The taste has notes of honey, vanilla, honeydew melon, sweet hay, and lighter notes of orchid, fresh coconut water, and apples. The aftertaste is sweet and comforting, and lingers on the tongue for a pleasant time span.

Greenwood Silver Tips White Tea – Infused Leaves

The infused buds have a uniform appearance of pale forest green and dark brown along the shoot and midrib. The mature buds envelope a single younger bud. There are no bare stems or leaves in the mix, all mature and young buds. There are a few broken buds, but the vast majority are whole. The aroma has soothing, sweet scents of honey, vanilla, ripe honeydew melon, and orchid.

The Silver Tips White Tea from Greenwood Tea Estate warrants high praise. This tea is comforting, soothing, and warming, providing an excellent aroma, texture, and taste. This tea, as with the other Sri Lanka silver tips products that I have tried, has a more delicate character than its Fujian cousins, which, in my opinion, provides a very high end and luxurious experience. I can truly feel the time and effort that was put into this product. This tea can be steeped again and again, and still give a great experience with each infusion. In the world of white teas, this product can stand with the best.

Thanks again to Greenwood Tea Estate for providing this sample of Silver Tips White Tea. Cheers!
By ITMA Certified Tea Professional Kevin Craig
TeaJourneyman, teajourneymanshop.com

Expansion of Sommelier Designations

“Somm” is fast becoming the shorthand for just about any knowledgeable specialist in a restaurant who traffics in quaffable tastes and aromas and advises on what goes best with what. Calling yourself a tea somm, for example, underscores the idea that tea deserves the same respect as wine—especially when top examples cost as much as $1,000 a pound.




Photo: Christopher Day at Eleven Madison Park Restaurant in NYC