The Tea Masters Cup International sees the participation of top sommeliers in tea service representing 15 countries with tea traditions, including Republic of Korea, Poland and Ukraine.
According to the organisers, the sommeliers were selected from domestic competitions to represent their nations at this global challenge, which requires skills in not only brewing tea but also 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.
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.
Besides, tea specialists will sit down in a seminar to have a closer look at the royal tea and food tradition once popular in the former imperial city of Hue.
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, the Republic of Korea in 2016 and China in 2017. The Vietnam Tea Association, local Department of Tourism and Tea Masters Cup Vietnam are the organisers.
Vietnam is the seventh top tea producer in the world, and the fifth biggest exporter of the product, with popular export trademarks of Thai Nguyen, Tay Bac in the northwest region and Bao Loc in the Central Highlands.
The tea served for the kings under the Nguyen Dynasty (1802-1945) in Hue was as diverse and complicated as those served in Japan, Republic of Korea and China’s feudal time. Today, the quintessence of tea service is preserved in cities with long histories like Hanoi and Hue.