I finished the Tea 101 examination! I am very happy with the result; my grade was 91%. A passing grade of 60% is required in each course, to be eligible for the Final Certification Examination.
Participation, Presentation, Blind Cupping and Examination will make up the final mark (100%). The examination was an on-line multiple choice test in a one-hour time limit. You can go back to previous pages but you can't pause the test once you start it. It was not very difficult but I made some mistakes.
One of the mistakes I made was the slurping speed when you do tea tasting. I found it funny that people mentioned it is difficult to slurp tea in the class. Coming from a different culture, I grew up slurping tea and miso soup, so it was EASY! I didn't pay enough attention to the topic, and the question asked the slurping speed in miles per hour! Oh No!!!
I guessed the answer and it was wrong. The right answer was 125 miles per hour (about 200 km per hour). It should be very fast! Awwww....
Blind cupping included 5 kinds of tea. I had to identify which types of tea they were. I received them in the packages, which I was not allowed to open. I asked Becky, who is one of my customers, to assist me for the test and she made the tea for me without showing me the leaves. She weighed the leaves carefully, checked the water temperature, and timed the steeping time correctly. Thanks to her talent at making perfect cups, I got them all right!
The most nervous part of the exam for me was the presentation, which we did via Skype. I have seen the teacher on screen for the last three weeks and exchanged a couple of e-mails but never had conversations with him.
I chose one of the three topics he gave us about the history of tea. The presentation must be 3 to 5 minutes in total. I made it about 4 minutes and practised many times to memorize it. You are not supposed to read! The teacher was very friendly, and even though I was worried, that calmed my nerves.
Now I have finished Tea 101. I can take courses 102 to 108 in any order. I have to consider my schedule and will take 2 to 3 courses a year.
I hope you enjoy the journey with me to be a tea sommelier!