“Tea Expert” – What does that mean to you?

When we read about tea, we often come across the term “tea experts.” Sometimes it’s a title bestowed upon a person by other parties, sometimes it’s the “expert” who readily calls him/herself that. I’m curious, what do you understand by the term “tea expert”? What runs through your mind? Particularly, what are your first thoughts?

Do you immediately think, “Gosh, how awesome, wish I could call myself that!”
Do you wrinkle your nose, and murmur, “What a lot of pompous baloney.”
Do you hastily search for his/her credentials, doubtful they really know their stuff? If so, what is their “stuff?”

What makes someone a tea “expert?” Who can be called an expert? Who is not an expert? Who should call whom a tea expert? Is there really such a title? Can we trust this term, or is it overused? Would you call yourself that about anything? Does it work for tea?

Think about the times you’ve seen this, and how it was applied.
I’ll leave you with this “tongue in cheek” quote,
Yours, J

  9 comments for ““Tea Expert” – What does that mean to you?

  1. June 22, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    I think in any situation, it is more credible when other people call a person an expert, rather than calling oneself an expert. I suppose someone who knows a whole lot about tea could be considered an expert. Though, I’m not sure where you’d draw the line. It’s really just a matter of opinion. An expert to me may not be to you.

  2. June 22, 2012 at 11:04 pm

    Ok so I went into a tea shop which will open next week *exciting*. I had been there before to introduce myself and leave my profile with one of the owners. When I went in the second owner who I have never met said her partner had mentioned me the *tea expert*, I was somewhat embarrassed and said I would not call myself an expert although I know a lot about tea. I guess since she has less knowledge about the brew to her I was an expert *ha ha* hope you’re smiling Jackie.

  3. June 22, 2012 at 11:28 pm


    See! You were an expert to her! It sounds so much more credible when someone who knows you says it, especially since you never really thought about it that way! To you, you just love tea!

  4. June 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm

    Who call them experts? What is their field of expertise?
    Just remember the crisis we are in and remember what all the “experts” said.

  5. June 23, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Someone who knows a lot about the subject in question. Enough to make judgments/calls/teachings worth listening to. Not to be followed blindly of course, (s)he is human after all.

    Someone who calls him/herself an expert raises a big red flag and sounds deafens us with all the alarm bells. (S)he could be right, but…

    The novice knows nothing and knows it, the advanced knows a little and thinks (s)he knows it all, the expert knows a lot and knows that (s)he knows nothing.

    On the other hand: In the land of the blind the one with the light-sensitive cell is king.

  6. June 24, 2012 at 2:24 am

    I don’t know that I consider myself an expert. I’ve consumed a lot of tea. I’ve flavored tea, blended it, sold it. Along the way, I’ve made a lot of mistakes and misjudgements and missed a few calls. I’d like to think I’ve learned from those mistakes. But there is still a lot that I do not know nor do I claim to know it. I know what I like when I taste it, and I sometimes am a bit of a snob when it comes to tea, especially when it comes to RTD and bagged teas, which does seem a bit snobbish when I type it out and read it. Oh well.

    But am I an expert, I don’t know that I’d call myself one. Instead, I think I’d call myself a rather long-winded tea fanatic with a bit too much time on my hands. Yes, I think that suits me better than tea expert.

    I had to laugh at the quote… because I remember working for a man who some might consider a genius when it comes to computers, I know I would, and he was way ahead of his time. He was brilliant. But, I could go to him with the simplest of questions (I was his accounting clerk), and after he would answer the question, I would stand there blankly for a few moments until he would ask me, “What’s wrong?” I’d answer, “You didn’t answer my question.” And his reply was, “You didn’t ask the right question.”

    I would then walk away, completely confused, and wondering which question I should have asked…

  7. June 25, 2012 at 4:24 am

    @liberteas – thanks for your detailed reply. Like you, I’m not a fan of RTD teas, or bagged teas, I just don’t like the taste. So it’s not necessarily a snobbish thing, we might just have our taste buds to blame. Or praise.
    You’re without doubt very tea experienced, the way you describe yourself as a long winded tea fanatic made me smile. Certainly a more amusing title than expert. As to your computer genius, I’ve had similar experiences. – while being confused, part of me also thought “you should know the right answer even if I don’t ask the right question.”

  8. June 25, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    @bram: “The novice knows nothing and knows it, the advanced knows a little and thinks (s)he knows it all, the expert knows a lot and knows that (s)he knows nothing.” Ha. Clever quote. So both the novice and the experts know that they know nothing! Probably best to be just advanced, and blissfully think you know something.

  9. June 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    @jopj sometimes I think we’re all “experts” compared to some of the staff in that establishment ;)

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