This course has been great and I have learned, primarily through the passion and expertise of the instructors, that there is a vast and wonderful world of tea out there waiting to be explored. I also really developed an appreciation for the tea server's place in the interconnected chain that brings tea to people's lips, from grower to picker to producer to shipper to marketplace to tea lover. When a tea master serves tea, the weight of all these people is on his shoulders as their hard work begs to be expressed in the ideal conditions. The tea master composes a symphony of water, fire, metal and air to liberate the essences stored inside the leaf.  Ryan B. California

The most significant thing I learned during the course is the art of brewing tea and its significance.  Learning about importance of water temperatures and brewing times has opened up the possibilities in tea to me.  I now have the knowledge to be able to enjoy the various types of tea for what they are and embrace the differences that each variety has to offer.  It has taken the sensory aspect of tea to another level. Marcie G. Idaho

During the course, I learned a lot about million things, especially the various type of teas with its characteristics from all over the world. It really opened up my knowledge even more about those teas. Furthermore the many type of tea ceremonies also interesting. I've really enjoyed being in the course and will use the knowledge gained from this course for my tea business. It's been a pleasure being in the course and knowing you Chas! Thanks! Audilya G., Indonesia

Wow, where to begin? I feel like I have learned so many new things about tea and tried so many new teas, and yet I know there is so much more to learn and taste! I think the most significant thing I learned was how to prepare different teas and ensure an excellent cup of tea each time. Understanding the steeping temperature and time has really helped me enjoy more teas than I have ever enjoyed before and it has been a lot of fun discovering the different tea utensils and serving techniques. I hope to continue the learning journey. Lisa H., Vermont

Tea is really more than just a cup of tea. It has values, culture and a lot of history behind it. I learned to value tea a lot more than I used to and it made me realize how all of us should be grateful to be able to access such a priceless treasure. Heather P., Washington

The most significant lesson I learned from this course is a better appreciation for tea. Since signing up for the course, I always wanted to know the true value of tea. Not in monetary numbers, but more so the true meaning of it. Tea has brought me inner peace, reconnected me with nature, and it has built me a newer understanding of the earth. We as humans rely too much on artificial energy drinks as well as man made concoctions in our daily lives. Tea, a naturally made substance from the earth, is able to bring forth so many health benefits impresses me greatly. I love the process of making tea and all the little variations between each tea and type of tea. To brew a proper cup and to see proper results is a truly amazing feeling. Will H., Hawaii

The most significant thing that I have learned and continue to learn is sensory and life discernment. Tea asks me to slow down, savor the moment that is in front of me, to keep life simple and to really connect with the person I am serving, and also myself.  When I keep life to it's simple form, I have space and the ability to really go inwards, and to tune in with my senses, noticing the artisan craft that it has taken to bring these leaves across the world and into my cup. The visuals tell the story of which country it came from by it's shape and process. They all tell us whether it has been oxidized appropriately, and the story and quality of the leaves. The aroma tells of it's purity and again process, and the intention of the farmer.. if he worked to heighten the natural oils and flavors of the tea leaf. The aroma also takes us on an olfactory journey, triggering subjective memories, reminding one of moments on the past. Sounds of the leaves unfurling, the water boiling, the utensils being blessed and purified. and the taste, which delights the palette and brings one back to center. Enhancing clarity and connection. There is an ancient ritual with the pouring of tea, and by being steeped in the course and learning so much about the origins and all about tea, it presented the opportunity to deepen my relationship to this mysterious plant, and to be able to offer that same depth in serving another person a simple yet profound cup of tea. Lauren H., Oregon

There are many significant things I learned from this course. It will be hard to narrow it down to, "the most significant." The best education I received was in tasting the wonderful tea samples. Each and every one was different, in smell, taste, texture, and color. Every single one had its own unique characteristics that made it special. There were some I loved and some I despised. Some Smelled terrible and some smelled phenomenal. A few looked like pale water and some darkened it to the core. But no matter what happened when I brewed the teas, something magical happened. The water transformed and was brought to life. I learned never to judge a book by its cover, some that smelled wonderful barely tasted like anything, and some that smelled horrible tasted smooth, and enticing. I learned what I like and dont like about different tea growing regions. I learned what type of tea I would most like to experiment with when developing my own custom blends. I learned what types of tea may over power other ingredients and which are subtle enough to be used with flavors or without. I also learned (I know you asked for THE most important thing, but I cant help it) How beautifully important the "culture of tea" is around the world. The symbolism, the calmness, the relaxation, the honor of tea from the growers to the rollers, to the drinkers is a beautiful ritual to be a part of. Lisa Marie, Massachusetts

I learned to taste test and to appreciate a wide variety of teas from all over the world. Since we used the gongfu brewing method (and the standardized total evaluation of the teas by all my senses) for all teas it was an interesting and eye opening journey to compare the different teas and learn to appreciate even those that I did not like (I thought) from the start. The whole training has given me a foundation to take off from. From this foundation I can now continue to grow my knowledge day by day - and I have a platform from where I can start to introduce others into the wonderful world of tea. Thank you!  Catrin R., Sweden

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

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

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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