About Tea Masters Cup
The idea of the Tea Masters Cup competition was tested in Russia in 2013 in a small community of tea masters working in different styles and with different tea, but with the same purpose of brewing and serving delicious tea.
At present Tea Masters Cup is the world’s largest system of tea competitions on tea preparation and serving. Representatives of many countries take part in the project.
Tea Masters Cup competitions are held in four categories.
In the category Tea Preparation participants are to brew and serve two types of tea. One tea (organizer’s tea) is chosen from a small number of teas, provided by the organizers, the other tea is presented by a participant.
In the category Tea Pairing, a participant is required to provide the jury with two tea and gastronomy compositions (tea in combination with one or more snacks and possibly with other beverages). One of them is compiled according to the parameters given by the organizers, and possibly from standard components, the other is a signature drink and is prepared by a participant from his own components.
In the category Tea Mixology, a participant needs to prepare and give judges two cocktails prepared on the basis of tea. One drink is mixed from the components selected by the member from the standard set of components. The other drink is a signature drink and is prepared by the participant on his or her own prescription.
The Tea Tasting category assesses the ability of a participant to correctly identify the maximum number of samples of previously tried tea in a blind and time-limited tasting and to identify the components included in the composition of a multi-component beverage. The competition in this category takes place in two subnominations. In the first subnomination (pure tea), participants firstly need to try and memorize 10 samples of brewed tea, followed by a blind tasting of the five randomly selected samples, which participants are to identify . In the second subnomination (multi-component drink), the participants firstly need to try nine tea additives (usually herbs or other similar tea supplements) and one pure tea, followed by a tasting of this tea, to which three of the nine Previously tried components, which participants are to identify.
The basic principles and ideas that lay at the heart of the TMC are as such.
- Tea Masters Cup is a project for people who work with tea or are tea enthusiasts and are willing to expand their horizons, and realize that valuable professional assets are not places, technologies or ideas, but people who can become or already are like-minded. TMC gives all its members the opportunity to interact with tea culture at short range. The diversity, concentration and level of reciprocal influence of tea culture members on TMC is incredibly high — all of that can be used for common and own purposes. The TMC became a professional elevator for many participants of the tournament.
- The national competitions of TMC is a mechanism for selecting participants and performances that adequately and vividly characterize the national consumer tea cultures or the author’s interpretations of preparation and delivery of tea.
- Despite having clear competition orientation and the winners, there are no real losers in the TMC. In a sense, TMC is a sequence of vivid presentations of interesting tea decisions and high-quality tea specialists.
The modern tea culture is divided into three segments: The tea culture of production, tea culture of trade and tea culture of consumers. Tea Masters Cup is a project that is entirely focused on consumer tea culture, that is, the preparation of tea and its serving to guests.
The specificity of consumer tea culture — because of tea popularity and affordability — is its easy integration into the traditions of the countries, communities and even the families in which it is cultivated. The consumer tea culture is getting closer to that country, this community or this family, rather than to the source of tea, be it China with its ancient and powerful tea tradition, or Kenya, for which tea is a purely commodity-based export.
Many performances on TMC are organically anchored to local cultures but at the same do not move around specific cultural peculiarities. This means that tea professionals and TMC participants are free to operate with the culture of which they are a part of, and using elements of this culture can create innovative solutions that are easily read by all tea enthusiasts.
This approach makes TMC a very important project for the development and presentation of the tea and gastronomy culture of each country or region and for the development of the tea culture and the tea market in general.
Tea Masters Cup is an open project. Tea professionals and enthusiasts, tea companies and associations, tea projects and various types of tea activities are well integrated with the tea tournaments, allowing all subjects in the tea culture to develop together. Join!
A Master competing in this category must demonstrate the skill of tea preparation by brewing and presenting to each member of the judging panel a total of two beverages:
- The Organizers’ Tea, a beverage prepared from a single tea sample chosen from a fixed set of samples, the same for all competitors, revealed by the competition organizers prior to the start of the competition;
- The Master’s Tea, a beverage prepared from any tea chosen by the Master or possibly from the set of tea samples provided by the competition organizers.
A Master competing in this category must demonstrate the skill of tea pairing (a composition consisting of tea and a light snack) by presenting to each member of the judging panel a total of two compositions:
- “The Organizers’ Composition”, consisting of tea and a light snack and possibly including other mandatory components specified by the competition organizers;
- “The Master’s Composition”, consisting of tea and a light snack, prepared by the Master from any ingredients (may include ingredients brought by the Master him- or herself).
A Master competing in this category must demonstrate the skill of preparing multi-ingredient tea-based beverages by preparing and presenting to each member of the judging panel two beverages:
- Organizers’ Mix, beverage prepared using a tea, in accordance with the conditions established by the organizer and using the required components, provided by the Organizer;
- The Master’s Mix, a beverage prepared according to the Master’s own recipe without any restrictions, provided that the beverage and its preparation do not violate these Rules and Regulations or any other rules imposed by the competition organizers.
A Master competing in this category must demonstrate the skill of degustation by identifying tea samples presented for degustation. This competition category includes two subcategories:
- Pure Tea
- Multi-Ingredient Beverage