I am dictating 2021 as the year of learning. I want to learn more about the regions I am drinking tea from, and I want to discover the culture. While it will be a while until I can actually experience it in person, I normally rely on tea drinking and other methods to learn about practices and culture. I was approached by Amy Aed from the Instagram handle @wandering_everywhere to watch her 30 Tea Cultures Around the World class and provide feedback. I was beyond excited to learn more about tea and tea culture, knowing that my knowledge is rather limited (especially beyond that of a few cultures). This course goes into 30 different tea cultures around the world and further explains the history behind the culture, as well as the current tea practices, ceremonies, and recipes of their most known drinks.
I want to go into three elements of the course:
- Did I enjoy the course?
- Where could it improve?
- Did the course improve my knowledge of the subject?
This is a general evaluation made of my opinion and does not include specific spoilers or details that it discusses. This course is on Udemy (I watched it via a private link that Amy provided me) for $19.99 USD (currently on sale for $12.99 at the time of writing). The content spans about 2 hours and 40 minutes.
Did I Enjoy the Course?
Yes, I did. One thing I find quite intimidating about researching tea culture and origins is the amount of information out on the internet. This could be said of many tea courses, but I found this one to be well-researched and put together. She does a very well job of giving a base of knowledge, firstly explaining the different types of tea and also explaining the method of creating the tea. I thought this was especially important as she starts going into tea cultures and using these terms. I will say, it is beneficial to have a little bit of knowledge before because it is more of a in-depth but quick overview.
One unexpected surprise was the traditional teas of each country and how to make it yourself (this made me want to try each of them in the proper and traditional way). I found it as an added bonus and I can see myself making the drink and listening to each country’s lecture to fully integrate myself into the information. I also enjoyed learning more in-depth about tea ceremonies to different cultures and more than what I consider a base-level discussion.
One funny thing I found was when she describes a few dos and don’ts when drinking tea. She mentioned that normally people should not drink tea with medications. I found this interesting (mostly because I break it absolutely every morning).
Where Could it Improve?
Do not get me wrong, I really enjoyed this course! I thought it was quite educational and well-done. I have a few suggestions for improvements that again are just an opinion of mine:
A little structure based on the region would be great. The different cultures sometimes bounce around and do not seem to have rhyme or reason occasionally. An example would be grouping North America together. In Udemy, instead of having the cultures be the different sections, it could instead be a bit broader to create richer topics.
I would like a few more photographs of examples of traditional teaware associated with the different cultures. The first time I really thought about this is when Amy was discussing Tibetian teaware. It sounded lovely, but I was not fully able to picture it. It would be great to include examples of the teaware throughout the course to help guide learning.
Did the Course Improve my Knowledge of the Subject?
Of course I did! 30 cultures is a mighty feat and I would have been shocked if I had known all of the information prior. One fun aspect was matching my own tea to the culture being discussed. For instance, when discussing Nilgiri tea, I was able to match it to some on my stash and learn why the tea tasted exactly as it did. Learning that little background can only help when I am trying to nail down tasting notes and provide better information to myself and others when reviewing or drinking tea.
I plan on revisiting the information quite a few times to really try and cement the information into my brain.
What types of tea classes do you normally take if any? Does this one intrigue you? Let me know! Happy Brewing!