Adagio's TeaClassFact: Consumer unfamiliarity and uncertainty are the primary obstacles to the growth of the specialty tea industry.

Fact: The tea industry is strewn with competing information, myths, and unsubstantiated claims.

Solution: TeaClass.com.  OK, so it’s not all the way there yet, but it’s a BIG step in the right direction.  TeaClass is a powerful and dynamic tool for seeking and sharing “tea truth”.

Adagio Teas originally launched TeaClass.com a few years ago as an educational tool for customers.  In the past few years, nearly 2,000 people have taken advantage of the free training and improved their knowledge of the world’s most popular beverage.  As of today, I’ve finished a series of significant updates to the training.  The content has been dramatically modified based on recent findings and the most current information, a new Advanced Level has been added, and the total number of lessons has been increased to 34.

The Beginner Level is still a great tool for tea consumers and covers the basics of what tea is, types of tea, how to make it, and basic health benefits.

The Intermediate Level targets tea connoisseurs and provides information on how tea is made, how quality is determined, advanced health benefits, and detailed information on the categories of tea.

The Advanced Level is designed for tea consultants – those who rely on their knowledge of tea to inspire the soul and delight the senses of consumer (and encourage them to buy, of course).  The lessons in this level cover how to cup teas, how to talk about teas, more than 20 of the most common customer questions, and a description of each of the major tea-growing countries.

In the near future, we look forward to adding video and additional lessons on how to sell tea effectively in a retail environment.  While TeaClass is free to the public, our real objective is to create a dynamic educational tool for training the retail staff in our own stores.  We’ve integrated TeaClass with TeaChat so that students are able to ask questions and challenge the content.  Our goal is to continually update and improve TeaClass, using the power of social networking and our base of nearly 8,000 registered TeaChat users (3,000 active) to help us create the most accurate and informative training tool in the industry.

Of course, by leaving TeaClass free and open to the public, we are making our own internal training available to everyone! The only thing we ask is that you participate in helping us refine and improve the content to increase the value for everyone!