Tea Association of Canada

Tea Association of Canada

October 29, 2009 16:31 ET

George Brown College Graduates Canada's First Certified Tea Sommeliers

No longer just a passage in history, Tea is now an important part of today's culinary culture

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 29, 2009) -

ATTN: Food & Beverage Editors, Lifestyle Editors, Book Reviews, and Education

In conjunction with a media event, November 3rd in Toronto

The role of Tea in history has always been significant. An important trading commodity, religious and ceremonial object, and a beverage mentioned in writings going back to 2737 BC.

In modern times the relevance of tea has never been so important. Now a billion dollar beverage category, new tea products such as ready to drink hot and cold tea beverages and specialty tea products have, for the first time, surpassed black tea sales. Tea is the most common beverage consumed in the world crossing international borders and is now carried, not just in tea and coffee shops, but in a variety of retail shops. It can be found in multiple sections in grocery stores including Organic; Fair Trade; Health and Ethnic as well as standard grocery shelf placement.

A clear sign of the significance is Canada's first professional Tea Sommelier certification being taught at George Brown College in Toronto. The college recently graduated their first class of Certified Tea Sommeliers after a two year program that saw students completing an eight part series similar to that of a wine sommelier program. In Toronto the course is lead by Bill Kamula and Stephen Field, chef instructors at George Brown College Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts. Together with the Tea Association of Canada they developed the curriculum for the Tea Sommelier program and have taught the course leading to the designation of Certified Tea Sommelier since its inception in 2006. Over 300 hundred students have taken one or more of the eight courses and this year George Brown saw twelve students pass the intensive tests required to receive their certification graduating North America's first Certified Tea Sommeliers.

Bill Kamula, Chef Instructor at George Brown says, much like the wine sommelier course, the course plays an important role in their culinary program at George Brown College. The course not only provides an overview of the basic components of tea, its growth and manufacturing, it deals with flavour profiles and teaches evaluative cupping procedures. The course then moves into mixology, food and tea pairings. Those students graduating with a full certificate will be prepared to start or continue a career in retail, restaurant & hotels, tea tasting and buying. Further information on the course can be found at Hospitality and Culinary Arts, Continuing Education, George Brown College.

JOURNALISTS ARE INVITED TO ATTEND A MEDIA EVENT ON NOVEMBER 3rd IN TORONTO featuring Jeff Fuchs, author of the new book The Ancient Tea Horse Road, who will give a 20 minute presentation on the ancient history and significance of tea while presenting a Gongfu Cha Dao, or gongfu tea ceremony and preparing and sampling a "tea stew", and Chef Instructor Bill Kamula, who will present information on Canada's first graduating Certified Tea Sommeliers sharing why professional tea training is as important to tea as a wine sommelier is to wine and the importance of tea in modern day business. He will prepare tea cocktails and present new tea products.

Tea Association of Canada Media Event
2pm - 3:30 pm Tuesday, November 3rd, 2009

The Tea Emporium
351 Eglinton Avenue West (one block west of Avenue Road)
Toronto, Ontario 416-488-4061

Interviews and Event

To attend the November 3rd event or to arrange interviews with Louise Roberge, President of the Tea Association of Canada; Bill Kamula, Chef Instructor at George Brown College or Jeff Fuchs (please note, Jeff will be returning to China the evening of November 3rd) or to receive a detailed agenda for the November 3rd event please contact Kelly Allbright, Tea Association of Canada (416) 510-8647 kellya@tea.ca

To view image please go to http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/666.jpg

(Photo courtesy of Jeff Fuchs, Author: The Ancient Tea Horse Road)

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