The final TAC Tea Sommelier® certification exam is carried out online. To ensure the integrity of the examination parts 1, 2 and 4 are completed live with the examiner over Skype.
The exam is composed of the following:
- Tea Preparation (30%): Prepare a serving of tea for your examiners – white, green, oolong, pu–erh or black (chosen by draw).
Judging will be based on: explanation of the tea selected, equipment used, method used for brewing and how the student interacts through dialogue with examiner
- Oral Presentation (10%): Answer a question posed by your examiners on any of the following 6 topics (chosen by draw).
Judging will be based on: introduction, remaining on topic, clarity, engaging and interesting
- Multiple Choice Questions (30%): Answer 60 multiple choice questions.
- Blind Tasting (30%): Examine a series of 10 teas and identify: style, type and country of origin (depending on country, what region).
Judging will be based on: If the tea is a white tea the student must specify if it is White Silver Needle or Pai Mu Tan. If the tea is from India, is it from Assam, Darjeeling or Nilgiri. If the tea is green is it pan-fired or steamed and if it is an oolong is it light or long oxidized.
Students must pass the blind cupping with a minimum of 75% AND an overall score of 75% to pass. If a student fails only one portion, they need to only re- take the failed portion.