Become a Tea Professional

A TEA SOMMELIER is a trained and knowledgeable tea professional who has successfully completed the eight modules in the TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠ course at a college or online, and passed the Tea Association of Canada certification examination.

We have worked diligently to provide Canada with a TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠ program that will educate and empower any novice tea minded individual.
 -Louise Roberge, President, Tea Association of Canada
This program contributes to the entire value chain of tea from producing countries to retailers.
-Shabnam Weber, TAC Education Chair and Board Director
We are breathing new life into the tea retail & service industry in Canada, while raising the bar on what it means to be an accredited TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠ professional. The future is looking very full for good tea and correct information, and it all starts with our Canadian TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠.
-Margot Bureaux, TEA SOMMELIER™ Professor Nova Scotia Community College

Graduates Will:

  • Have a thorough understanding of tea and its history, processing methods and preparation.
  • Be able to interact easily with anyone on the subject of tea and make recommendations based on their needs in an approachable and easy manner.
  • Have the ability to design a comprehensive tea menu for retail or any food service environment.
  • Understand and apply the principals behind tea and food pairings.
  • Understand and articulate the tasting notes associated with different teas.

When?

Courses start throughout the year and generally take 4-6 weeks.

View the Course Schedule

Select a Course for More Details and to Register

TEA 101:
Introduction to Tea

This course will provide an introduction on the history of the origin of tea.  You will learn how to differentiate the types of tea as well as the tea grading standards used in the industry.

TEA 102: 
Regions Of The World

Students will examine in detail the principal tea-growing regions of the world. Develop a fundamental understanding of tea – its evolution and its influence on culture and world events.

TEA 103:
Tea Sensory Development

This course covers how we taste – what do we rely on – what errors should we be aware of. The tea taster’s vocabulary will be covered as well as tastings of various products such as chocolate, water, etc. to identify and fully understand the science of taste.

TEA 104:
Tea Types

This course will cover the types of teas produced in different regions/countries in the world. Tasting and style comparisons will be a major component of this section.

TEA 105:
From The Bush To The Cup

This course is designed to introduce the student to advanced cultivation and processing practices used in the production of tea

TEA 106:
Preparation, Consumption & Health

This course provides the current information available as it relates to tea consumption. Use the skills gained in previous classes to prepare the perfect cup of tea.

TEA 107:
Menu Design, Food Pairing & Cooking With Tea

Explore the various nuances of using tea as an ingredient – cooking, baking, cocktails etc. In this course, you will understand the principals behind using tea beyond its traditional uses as well as how to pair tea with food and create the perfect tea menu.

TEA 108:
The Business of Tea

Learn about the various layers that make up the tea industry – commodity trader and auctions, packers and retailers. Who are they, what do they do and what are the challenges faced in each sector.

Students who have completed all of the TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠ courses with passing grades, are eligible to take:

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Meet the TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠ Instructors

Shabnam Weber - Industry & Online Instructor

Shabnam Weber - Industry & Online Instructor

Ms. Shabnam Weber has been the owner of the successful Canadian tea retail chain, The Tea Emporium Inc., for 11 years and has served on the Board of Directors for Tea Association of Canada for the past 6 years.
As the Chair of the Education Committee, Shabnam is dedicated to the advancement of the TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠ Course.
Ms. Weber has both a Political Science Degree and a Post-Graduate Degree in Psychology from the University of Toronto, in addition to a Human Resource Management Certificate.

Jeff Kovac - Online Instructor

Jeff Kovac - Online Instructor

Jeff’s passion for tea began while he was living and working in Sichuan, China. While abroad, Jeff devoted his free time to the practice and study of language, culture and Tea. Jeff’s travels throughout China, India and Japan have expanded his knowledge and first-hand practice of many distinct and varied tea cultures. With a background in adult education and training, Jeff is passionate about sharing his knowledge with students as they progress on their journey into tea. He is currently a member of the Urasenke Chado Toronto Chapter and works in the North American Tea Industry. He is a Certified TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠.

Matthew Healy - Algonquin College

Matthew Healy - Algonquin College

Matthew Healy is one of the Certified TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠ instructors at Algonquin College.

Wanda McCumber - Algonquin College

Wanda McCumber is a Certified TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠, teaching at Algonquin College.

Michelle Pierce Hamilton - Fanshawe College

Michelle Pierce Hamilton - Fanshawe College

Michelle Pierce Hamilton is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist (RHN) and Certified TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠.
Michelle’s business acumen is as a Project Management Professional (PMP) with over 20 years in project delivery in both public and private sectors, having taught project management for Lawrence Kinlin School of Business, as well as presently for London Health Sciences.
A teacher and facilitator at heart, Michelle is now a TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠ instructor at Fanshawe College. Michelle runs her own successful London tea company, beTeas inc. which specializes in “exceptional tea delivered to your door”.

James Cadeau - Mohawk College

James Cadeau - Mohawk College

James Cadeau is a Certified TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠, and is an instructors at Mohawk College in Hamilton. He is a cafe owner in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and the Specialty Tea Wholesale Manager at Spire Tea in Toronto. James moved fully into the Tea Industry in 2012 after 20 years of experience in Beverage, Food, & Hospitality Management. Having retail & wholesale experience with tea, he brings his students practical insight and real life scenarios.

Margot Bureaux - Nova Scotia Community College’s

Certified TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠, Margot Bureaux is Nova Scotia Community College’s instructor and dedicated tea enthusiast.

M. Reza Nasooti - Vancouver Community College

M. Reza Nasooti - Vancouver Community College

After graduating from the University of British Columbia with a degree in Marketing and Management Information Systems, Reza joined The Urban Tea Merchant on the ground floor as a Founding Member in 2004.
Reza found alignment with the company’s core values and has been an integral part of their growth. He is their resident TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠ and genuinely excited about learning and offering great experiences with his students.

Del Tamborini - Vancouver Community College

Del Tamborini - Vancouver Community College

Del holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and Certificate in Sustainable Community Development from Simon Fraser University, in addition to several other diplomas and certifications, but tea has always been one of his overriding passions.
One of the first Certified TAC TEA SOMMELIER™/℠ in Vancouver, Del is thrilled to have the opportunity to share his knowledge and help guide future sommeliers on their journey toward certification.

Register for a Tea Sommelier Course Now

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Tea Association of Canada Sponsors

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