“Where there’s tea, there’s happiness.”
Do you feel the tea shop outside your campus has a special taste compared to one near your home? Doing it for a tea company will make you a tea taster. A tea taster is someone who taste tea and identify the difference between the teas.
Tea companies employ tea tasters to ensure quality and standard of their product. They also do buying and blending of tea for the company.
Tea taster has to train their palate to identify the blend, flavor and origin. Their taste buds are extremely important as they need to identify teas from any tea garden across the world. There can be unavailability of a specific tea due to droughts, strikes, theft and the like. The tea taster, then substitutes tea from a different area to and ensures that it maintains the taste the consumers expect. They also get to travel to tea plantations across the world to familiarize with the crop, participate in auctions, create unique flavor etc.
The tongue of Sebastian Michaelis, the tea taster of Tetley tea was insured for 1 million British pounds. This shows the importance of active and healthy taste buds for a tea taster.
This is not a profession that is easily available. It is specific and limited to tea companies and plantations. This is a small industry with only few hundred professional tasters around the world. Though graduation in Botany, Food Sciences, Horticulture or allied fields are desirable it is not mandatory. Tea companies who train their tea tasters prefer any graduates.
There are diploma and certificate courses available for tea tasting these days. These courses span from 3 months to 1 year.
Colleges in India*:
- Indian Institute of Plantation Management, Bengaluru
- Birla Institute of Management And Futuristic Studies, Kolkata
- Darjeeling Tea Research and Management Association NITM, Darjeeling
- Dipras Institute of Professional Studies, West Bengal
- Tocklai Tea Research Institute, Assam
- Assam Agricultural University, Assam
*Note: All colleges are not covered in this list.