We recently completed the Tea Mastery Certification for the International Tea Masters Association of China-Taiwan (ITMA). It was the first course like it of its kind for International Tea Academy. All. Of the students who joined us were in the tea business. We had some students who had teahouse, another was building a tea company. Another owned a tea factory and distribution chain. A ton of material was covered in the first four days. Day One was a truly in depth teaching in the history of tea. After that we covered the 6 major types of teas. The students loved how Shana taught them the difference in how tea is rolled and or pressed by massaging then using the exact rolling and pressing techniques. The students were all impressed by the depth of the material covered in the first day.
Day two was professional tea evaluations using international standards. In addition to this, we taught them how to understand and identify the differences of artisan tea and large factory mass produced teas. Day three was on the various tea cultures of China, which are vast. Then we went in depth into the various health benefits of tea, delving into the 5 Elements of tea, the I Ching and tea, and much more.
Day four was on the business of tea. Shana has years of experience working for tea factories and shed enormous light on how to do business with tea factories, tea traders, tea producers and much more. They learned how to work with Organic certification, Fair Trade and more. We taught them how educate their own customers on teas, how to understand their own markets and more. JT Hunter shared his experiences of being a tea hunter and how to hunt their own teas. We brought the students to a teashop that said they represented a tea Farmer and how to identify if it was an authentic operation. Some students were surprised by the results. The last three days were spent at one of the most beautiful ancient tea tree forest in China at Nannuo Mountain. We took the students to meet a family of tea artisans that has been producing artisan, hand crafted ancient tea tree tea for generations, the Si family. Yang Si, the head of the family was the best Puer producer we ever met. Unfortunately a few years ago he died in an accident. Fortunately his family carried on his tradition as they were all trained in the ways of this master producer. The next day we went to see a high quality tea factory that used his teas amongst other high end producers. We wanted to show the students the process from start to finish.
The last day we took them to a typical factory in Yunnan to show them a real contrast of an artisan tea producer to a common tea factory. They also went to see the standard tea plantation that the factory gets their tea from. The students were all shocked by the huge differences.
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