India is home to some of the most exotic and fine teas in the world. And yet we hardly know much about them. Tea is still the same chai that we consume everyday morning but never had the inclination to understand the fine tees of India in detail.
This is also quite surprising given the fact that even though we learn so thoroughly about wine and are extremely excited about this alcoholic beverage, we don’t really put the same emphasis on fine or specialty teas which are quite like fine, aged wines.
And therefore perhaps, in hospitality/hotel schools in India and across the globe, we don’t see the same emphasis put on educating students on tea the way we educate them about wine.
The details of wine tasting and appreciation are taught in most good hospitality schools. The same is not done when it comes to tea – again the same tasting and appreciation process is applicable for a good cup of tea just like wine.
And therefore it is not surprising that when it comes to catering hospitality industry in India, while we have some excellent wine sommeliers coming out of good hotel schools, we don’t have even a get single good tea appreciator that can immediately be part of various tearooms/tea cafes/tea houses that are either part of 5-star hotels or operate individually. This is sad because we are unable to take advantage of a niche area of expertise and be hired by some of these big hotel chains like Hilton, Ritz Carlton, Conrad, Sheraton, Four Seasons, etc. not just as F&B trainees but as such sought after tea experts.
Let us put this in perspective:
- The Global Tea Market is estimated to be USD 66.74 Bn in 2022 and is projected to reach USD 91.61 Bn by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 6.54%.
- The Indian premium tea market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 4.2% between 2021 and 2026, to attain 1.4 million tons by 2026. (study by EMR)
- There are 1,607 specialty tea businesses in the U.S. of which 255 outlets are chains with five or more locations, according to the State of the US Specialty Tea Industry
- There are 761 4+ star hotels in India as on May 2022 (statista.com)
- There are no certified tea masters or tea appreciators in India
It is with this thought that I have curated a six-day tea education tour for third-year students of hospitality schools in India and globally. Prior to beginning the tour, there is a full-day tea learning session that I conduct to teach the fundamentals of tea and appreciation (I have found the basics of tea that are taught to be quite lacking in the existing curriculum).
The Tea Education Tour takes place in Darjeeling or Coonoor and it entails visiting tea factories, tea rooms, tea gardens, tasting sessions at the gardens, talking with the tea manufacturers, and the entire ecosystem that helps in making a sublime tea like the Darjeeling / Nilgiris.
I have already initiated this program by undertaking, perhaps the world’s first Tea Education tour for hospitality students, with the students from IIHM. 16 students were picked after grueling testing round, from various campuses of IHM and they became the first ever batch of students to go on a Tea Education tour in India.
I shall be happy to offer this program to your students and bring them at par with wine education and help you create a niche in the market.
Interesting fact: By the second day of the tour three students from the group were offered placements by a five-star hotel chain as well as one of the most respected and globally renowned tea brands from Darjeeling.
You can see not only there is a demand that exists, but people from tea brands, tea estates, hospitality sector are also waiting to have such students come in and joining the industry.
And based on my detailed discussion with them, they are also willing to create a separate remuneration structure keeping in mind the very specialised skillsets that these students would bring into the industry.
Let’s grab this opportunity Now!
To know more about various tea careers possible and available, please visit: https://teawithsusmita.com/8-reasons-why-tea-should-be-your-new-career-choice/
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