The Certified Tea Master training was a truly life-changing experience for me. Starting the program with a strong profession background in Chinese medicine, I had always been interested in tea. Tea was mentioned briefly in my extensive graduate training in both China and the U.S. The Tea Mastery program provided a comprehensive experience of tea cultures, tradition, history, and taste, and is like no other. It inspired me to follow more closely the “Way of Tea”. From the onset, I developed greater presence and awareness of every sip of tea that entered my body. Practicing Gong Fu Cha has provided me a tremendous resource for reaching out into my community, for organizing social events, and for helping my clients attain a greater level of health.
The American Tea Masters Association provided expert training, guidance, and exposure to many of the finer teas, resources, and business connections needed for me to start my own tea company, “A Leaf of Tea,” in Virginia Beach, VA. I now have a greater appreciation for innovation, prestige, creativity, as well as a strong personal connection to the leaf thanks to this program. I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in the rewarding world of tea. Daniel J, Virginia

What a wonderful experience it has been to have Chas Kroll mentor and guide my journey through the world of tea. Chas gave me the perfect amount of guidance to point me on the right path, without taking away the joy of self discovery – a true mentor. A great mix of humor and reverence has made this course so informative and very enjoyable at the same time. I cannot thank you enough Chas and look forward to staying in touch as I journey along my way of tea. Dianne S., Australia

I thought I knew a lot about tea before starting this course—not everything, but a lot. I considered myself the town’s authority on tea because I knew how to brew most tea. Our café was, and is, the only place in town where one could find a pot of loose leaf tea, properly prepared, and served with panache! I jokingly told people that my mother-in-law taught me well! I knew I would learn many things about tea, but in all honesty, I was a tried and true coffee drinker who looked at this certification as another angle that might help our business expand.
Now, all these months later, I can’t even begin to count the things I’ve learned! Assigning a quantitative significance to any one of them is impossible, because each one in its own right is the most significant! What makes it harder is that they build on one another. I studied world history in college, so I found the history of tea fascinating in every aspect. As an innkeeper who has served afternoon tea daily since 1983, learning about the various tea ceremonies and the service aspect of being a Tea Master was right on point! The subtle nuances of aroma and taste as well as the harvesting and processing of the numerous teas that I have sampled has been enlightening in every aspect. And lastly, as an insatiable gardener (in the Rocky Mountains, no less), learning about how geography, climatic conditions and soil differences can affect the final product has been captivating!
How do I choose any one of these things as being THE most significant? I can’t! What I can say for sure, is that today—even after learning all of this—I realize how little I know! Tea will never again be just another beverage. Every cup will be a sensory and educational adventure! Most of all, I haven’t had a satisfying cup of coffee in months! Frankee M., Montana

The Certified Tea Mastery Course I recently completed was both extraordinary and outstanding. It allowed me to go deeply into the true knowledge and mysteries of the world of tea. By true knowledge I mean first hand and top quality information and data, with one exceptional tea tasting experience after another. But beyond its quality I want to outline the work done by Chas Kroll, Certified Tea Master and Executive Director of the American Tea Masters Association, a man who I consider a visionary and used his skills to create something that I describe as "a world tea family." Diego M., Rosario, Argentina

I just completed the tea masters certification with Chas Kroll via skype. I am a huge Chas fan; he is such a patient, kind and humorous mentor. I feel priveledged to have a very knowledgeable tea guru leading me along a path of enlightenment when I was truly in the dark about tea. The Skype classes were invaluable to me as I am a chef at the Four Seasons in Kona, Hawaii, which allowed me to complete the course in my own time. In this fantastic course, that teaches so much about all aspects of tea, it was so inspiring to have samples of so many teas from all over the world and in each lesson learn how to evaluate the tea and absorb the history and magical mystique of each one.
I was born in Kenya and knew what good black tea was supposed to taste like, so never understood why tea was such an unsatisfactory experience elsewhere. I have since discovered a whole new world that was opened up to me through this course and cannot stress enough that once you experience good tea you can never go back to anything less. This course has taught me that there was so much more than black tea and I am quite literally mesmerized with the aroma and taste of every tea I had the privilege of tasting and know that I have a lifetime of pleasure ahead of me as I continue my own personal tea journey. Jenny R., Kona, Hawaii

I began this course with the aim of completing an overview of commercial tea, for business purposes, and I must say that it has met my needs very well. On a personal level, I really enjoyed the history of the tea industry and the development of teas and herbal products in different parts of the world. On a more scientific note, I really appreciated the information on physical factors that create a type and quality of tea, including soil, terrain, altitude, humidity, processing, and storage. The most important thing I was looking for was basic education on how to judge the quality of different types of teas and herbals. In this class, I have learned to do this – and how to record the results in a uniform manner for future comparisons – even if I’m evaluating a type of tea that is not my personal preference. It’s important to me to be able to evaluate a tea that a customer might like, even if it’s not one that would ever be my personal choice. I really enjoyed the whole experience – both the classroom portion and working on my own, evaluating and experimenting. It was fun and highly educational! Alix S., Tennessee

I did the Tea Master training on Skype in April 2009. I was amazed to have my own personal tea master giving me private lessons. The training was very thorough and informative. Chas had done a tremendous amount of work putting the most comprehensive training I have seen in one place. The most valuable thing about the program to me was that I had the best mentor in the tea business review my website and business and give me valuable suggestions to take my business to the next level. Chas was patient and engaging. I totally looked forward to our class times. I feel I have made a true connection with a master. I am extremely grateful for the experience. Chas is an excellent teacher. I know the schooling I began with Chas will be a life-long process and relationship. Thia M., Houston, Texas

Chas Kroll has developed a much-needed Certified Tea Master program that will raise the bar on tea training here in the USA. The program not only challenged my existing knowledge of tea, but expanded my tea knowledge and shattered some prior incorrect understandings of tea and tea preparation. I am quite excited to be taking part in the “maiden voyage” of this Certified Tea Master study program. The curriculum is well researched, up-to-date and immediately applicable to today’s rapidly growing specialty tea industry. Being able to sit toe-to-toe with tea industry experts (in some cases legends) is worth the cost alone, but Chas didn’t stop there. He added expert curriculum coupled with a unique learning environment. This learning environment allowed students to challenge themselves while encouraging others in a poignant one-on-one daily exchange of ideas and sensory critiques. The faculty’s knowledge of tea was surpassed only by their passion of tea. I look forward to the positive impact the ATMA Certified Tea Master program is going to have on the specialty tea industry here and abroad. Thank you for this program, and I look forward to having tea and sharing ideas and techniques with all of the wonderful tea people I have met here at ATMA. Alan L., California

The American Tea Masters Association was a great way to increase my knowledge about tea. My pallet developed exponentially as I tasted and evaluated a variety of teas that I hadn't yet tasted. Chas Kroll worked with me one on one across the country via Skype. I found Chas to be extremely knowledgeable about the history of tea, of tea, and practically all things tea. He even sent me teas that weren't a part of the course because he cared more about my development than he did about the basic completion of the course. This experience was worth the cost and I would take this course again in a heartbeat. Thanks to Chas and everyone at the ATMA. Chris B., Indiana

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