Viet Nam News
THỪA THIÊN-HUẾ — Tea sommeliers from around the world are going to compete in a skill competition in the city of Huế in the central province of Thừa Thiên-Huế later this weekend.
The Tea Masters Cup International in the country’s former imperial capital city will have top sommeliers in tea service representing 15 countries with tea traditions including South Korea, Poland and Ukraine.
According to the organisers, the sommeliers were selected from domestic competitions to represent their nations at this global challenge. The competition requires skills in brewing tea as well as the decoration of an aesthetic tea set.
The sommeliers will compete in four categories to win the cup: tea brewing, serving tea with snacks, tea mixology and tea tasting.
In tea brewing, the competitors have to show off their skill in brewing a type of tea chosen by them and another type given by the judges.
In the competitions of snack service and tea mixology, the sommeliers prepare two sets of tea and snacks and two types of drinks that mix tea with another beverage.
Traditionally, tea is served on its own. But later on in history, honey, milk and other beverages were added to create different flavours of tea.
The sommeliers will also taste different types of tea to show off their capacity in recognising the tea varieties grown in several countries around the world.
The sommeliers will compete, while tea specialists will sit down in a seminar to have a closer look at the royal tea and food tradition once popular in the city.
The host city will take the participants to villages that are involved with the tea industry as a sideline activity.
This will be the fourth Tea Masters Cup International. The earlier editions were held in Turkey in 2015, South Korea in 2016 and China in 2017. The Việt Nam Tea Association, local Department of Tourism and Tea Masters Cup Việt Nam are the organisers.
Việt Nam is the sixth top tea producer in the world, with popular export trademarks of Thái Nguyên, Tây Bắc in the northwest region and Bảo Lộc in the Central Highlands.
The tea served for the kings under the Nguyễn Dynasty (1802-1945) in Huế was as diversified and complicated as those served in Japan, South Korea and China’s feudal time. Today, the quintessence of tea service is preserved in cities with long histories like Hà Nội and Huế. — VNS