CORE.01 Essentials of Camellia Sinensis
This class introduces Camellia sinensis and the three factors that make it possible for this one plant to be the source of hundreds of kinds of teas. It also explores the botany of the plant, including the history, varieties, cultivars and cellular chemistry. The class continues with the six stages of tea processing and an overview of the six types of tea that come from this single amazing plant. The session concludes in week three with an introduction to professional cupping and the sensory evaluation of tea - a skill you will develop and hone throughout the program.
By the end of this course you will be able to:
• Name the three factors that make it possible for the one tea plant to produce so many different kinds of tea.
• Describe the tea plant’s botanical origins and primary commercial varieties.
• Define variety, cultivar and landraces and the significance of these in tea cultivation.
• Name and describe the six stages of tea processing.
• Name the six types of tea.
• Identify the defining stage of processing for each type of tea.
• Set up and conduct a professional tea cupping session for the sensory evaluation of teas.
You will need to order your class kit no later than close of registration:
• Required class kits are not included in the World Tea Academy purchase
• Class kits need to be ordered from Elmwood Inn Fine Teas.
• Go to Elmwood Inn’s World Tea Academy page to purchase kit* (You need to order your kit no later than one week before your class starts to ensure that you receive it in time.)
Please Note: International students that plan on taking more than one course with World Tea Academy will save money on the shipping costs of their class kits if they order multiple kits at a time.
Students will need to supply the following additional materials BEFORE the class starts. These are not included in the class kit:
• An instant read thermometer
• A digital gram scale
• A timer
3 weeks (plus one week grace period to submit assignments and complete any tests.)
Who Should Take This?
Everyone interested in tea should take this introductory course. This course is designed for tea professionals working at all levels of the industry who wish to further their knowledge of tea, their career goals or increase sales of tea. It is ideal for tea professionals and enthusiasts who wish to learn about the basics of tea education, starting with in-depth understanding of the tea plant and the stages of processing. Anyone taking this course will gain a basic understanding of the six types of tea, their manufacturing processes and basic cupping skills, including how to use the 3 piece professional cupping set.
World Tea Academy Certified Tea Specialist Candidates:
Successful completion of this class counts towards certification for WTA Certified Tea Specialist. CORE.01 is the suggested prerequisite for CORE.02 through CORE.06 classes.
*Disclaimer: Elmwood Inn Fine Teas is not part of World Tea Academy/Questex LLC nor is it affiliated World Tea Academy/Questex LLC. World Tea Academy/Questex LLC has partnered with Elmwood Inn Fine Teas only to provide the class kits for our courses.
- Welcome to Your Class
- Course Author: Donna Fellman
- Essentials of Camellia Sinensis
- Part One – The Three Factors
- Part Two – The First Factor: The specific variety or cultivar of the Camellia sinensis plant
- Part Three – Camellia sinensis’ Life as a Plant
- Part Four - The Cultivar in Our Cup
- CORE.01 Assignment 1.1
- Core.01 Assignment 1.2
- Week 1 Classroom Assignment
- End of Week 1 Quiz
- Part One - The Ways the Leaves are Processed
- Part Two - The Six Types of Tea
- CORE.01 Assignment 2.1
- Week 2 Classroom Assignment
- End of Week 2 Quiz
- Introduction to Sensory Evaluation and Professional Tea Cupping
- CORE.01 Cupping Exercise
- Week 3 Classroom Assignment
- Final Exam
We offer this class every month except December.
See Class Schedule Page for registration and start dates.
Rich knowledge from many sources that know what they are talking about. The topics are written in an interesting way that keeps your attention. The only suggestion I would make is to create more videos throughout Weeks 1 & 2. They don't need to be long, but visual & audio instruction an illustration can really assist in learning and it was a little hard with it solely being written/reading.
MarySep 29, 2021
There is a lot of information and for a novice, quite an eye opening experience to learn about all of the different teas and the processing stages. I loved the cupping exercises, but did find it hard to describe flavors and aromas. I hope my palate will grow with time! Excited to continue my studies.
DonnaSep 23, 2021
I absolutely loved this course and learned a lot from it. I liked the structure of the course and the pace. It was easy to follow and easy to accomplish in the time frame. I would definitely recommend this course to other tea lovers!
KatherineAug 22, 2021
I really enjoyed learning more about tea and the processes that go into the making of each variety. I can't wait for the next one!
KateJul 26, 2021
I have learned so much about the chemical processing of teas, and why they use certain processes, (oxidation, firing , etc) that keeps me intrigued to be able to learn more about teas and how they are used.
SheilaJul 21, 2021
I enjoyed the class... excited to do more modules definitely will practice cupping more...
Shelly-AnnMay 29, 2021
Loved this so much, especially the cuppings, looking forward to learning more in the Core 2 session!
JenMay 22, 2021
I've learned a lot during this class. The curriculum cover different aspects to tea, from biology, history, to processing. I have a busy work schedule, but the content of this class is very interesting. I always can't wait and try to spare time for the class!
MandyFeb 20, 2021
This is much harder than I thought it would be and I'm learning that there are many nuances that I must be more careful in interpreting when finding the answers. I'm also getting used to this computer program as I'm not the most computer savvy of people. This course has been very informative in the basics as well as the intricacies in the introduction of the world of tea.
CynthiaJan 23, 2021
Great course! Thank you.
AaronJan 10, 2021
So interesting, thank you!
MoniqueNov 28, 2020
Please continue the sensory evaluations. I thought the tea choices were brilliant because each tea had a different cut, feel, smell, color...It was my favorite part!
TanyaOct 28, 2020
It was an excellent course and I enjoyed learning so much about tea and reading all of the different resources!
ErinSep 27, 2020
Thoroughly enjoyed this introduction course. Very detailed and easy to follow.
DitshegoAug 27, 2020
Great introductory course, I enjoyed that we cupped all six varieties of teas and got to know them. I will admit that the workload from weeks 1-2 vs. 3 was quite different, which was fine, but maybe a heads up for people who are working full time or have busy schedules to begin cupping as early as possible.
NatalieJun 20, 2020
Loved the course! I learnt so much!! Thank you!!!
SiweiMay 28, 2020
Excellent class! I'm looking forward to continuing my education with the World Tea Academy!
JeffMay 01, 2020
I really liked the structure and set-up of the course. It was a great introduction to the magical world of tea. Thank you!
LarsJan 28, 2020
I loved this course and I would be getting my Core 2 soon!
AnitaNov 25, 2019
Excellent course! Excellent experience! I learned a great deal and am looking forward to the next one in January.
DeborahNov 23, 2019
Loved the experience; lots of scientific knowledge that was sort of overwhelming but also incredibly interesting. Definitely more knowledge than I expected in an introduction to tea.
TheresaNov 02, 2019
Fantastic course! I've enjoyed it and can't wait to take additional courses! Thank you!
JosephJul 27, 2019
The content is excellent. I especially appreciate the videos in weeks two and three since they offer another way of learning.
AmyApr 20, 2019
Great course! I look forward to the next one!
AhndreaMar 26, 2019
Information is laid out very well. Format is casual and convenient and works around the many demands of home life and professional life.
AnthonyDec 01, 2018
Excellent course covering leaf to lingering tea taste on tongue. Eagerly anticipating next course!
NanelynOct 28, 2018
The course is an interesting window to the tea industry...its provides lot of basic information and is surely a good start for people like me who wish to get into commercial business of tea.
SamirSep 24, 2018
Wonderful...truly educational... so much information that I did not know. Thank you.
RajJun 30, 2018
Excellent Course. Really Learned a lot. Feel like I have many questions answered in this class.
RachelJun 30, 2018
PiotrMay 08, 2018
I learned so much during this course. I am looking forward to the next course. This course was very informative and fun.
ChristinaMar 20, 2018
This intro course was excellent! I learned so much about the origin of the tea plant that I never knew before. I really enjoyed learning about cupping.
JasmineMar 19, 2018
This was a very eye opening course. It was very detailed from the origin, processing and harvesting. I would definitely recommend this course to other tea enthusiasts. It allows you to look at tea from a different perspective.
TerrilynnMar 04, 2018
I learned a lot! Donna was very down to earth in her videos and comments. It made the course work more accessible for newbies.
ClarissaMar 03, 2018
GREAT LEARNING OPPORTUNITY
nazliMar 01, 2018
Very impressed with the quality and thoroughness of the material!
DanaFeb 28, 2018
Love and enjoy the lesson
gittaFeb 28, 2018
Straight forward class. Tough to learn how to experience tasting on your own but Donna does a great job providing you feedback on your assignments.
DarrenFeb 27, 2018
This is a very useful and well-structured basic course. It helps to have the fundamentals of the tea world in an effective and winning way. I really recommend it to all tea lovers, but also to those working in the tea industry to have awareness and authority in their work.
RosaliaFeb 27, 2018
I enjoyed the class. I gleaned more information and the format will help me when I explain tea to others. I signed up a couple of employees for the test only section so I guess I would suggest an option to request more tea for that purpose. I look forward to signing up for more classes. Thank you
namiFeb 27, 2018
This course offers a fantastic introduction to the tea plant and the types of tea that are consumed. The materials are easy to understand and the videos provide the guidance on what one should expect to see when the various tea types of brewed.
MyroslavaFeb 26, 2018
Great course! It was a little bit tough to describe aromas and flavors for the teas/leaves, but I tried my best! Tea is very interesting and I look forward to learning more and more!
Chris Feb 23, 2018
This course provides such a great foundational understanding about the rich history of tea. It was very informative.
CourtneyFeb 21, 2018
Excellent information was provided by this course which helped me learn a great deal about tea.
JessicaFeb 12, 2018
This course met my expectations, so thank you! I was especially intrigued by the chemical structure of the leaves. All living organisms function in nearly the same fashion, don't they?
SharonJan 18, 2018
I wish I had done it earlier! the material and the video are perfect for a deep understanding of the tea plant.
YasmineJan 17, 2018
I appreciate the quick response to questions. The videos were also very helpful and I really enjoyed the choice of teas for cupping. I look forward to taking more classes in the future. I took this class for self development and will most likely remain a consumer not seller of teas.
NancyNov 30, 2017
It was great fun to learn about teas in more depth. Fun tasting them. Easy to follow materials and coursework. I will never drink tea the same!
GretchenNov 21, 2017
Great intro! Nice balance of elementary knowledge and practical hands on sensory experience.
RobOct 24, 2017
This course is excellent! Thank you so much!
alejandraOct 23, 2017
This is a great course, both for the beginner as well as the more knowledgeable tea connoisseur: it is incredibly complete and well-structured for such a short course. I have read many books about tea over the years and with this course I finally felt that I consolidated the information I had learnt and filled in all the gaps. Don't change a thing! I canâ€™t wait to continue!
Maria InêsOct 22, 2017
This course was a fantastic introduction to tea. I feel I have a good foundation on the science of the plant, the process, and terminology that will serve me well in the coming courses. The materials were easy to use and fit into my busy schedule.
BelindaSep 01, 2017
Donna is a wonderful instructor with positive feedback. She was very understanding with my situation during the course. Thank you for not giving up on me!
MelissaAug 31, 2017
Fascinating introduction to tea... so much I did not know!
KeriAug 26, 2017
Excellent course and very good video sessions by instructor Donna Fellman.
UlisesJul 29, 2017
I have learned so much from this class! I will be continuing my education in this field. Donna has put together materials that are comprehensive and challenging, but has done it in a way that a novice like myself can understand.
RuthJul 22, 2017
I found this course to be a good base for future learning and really appreciated Donna's availability for my many questions.
TerriJul 21, 2017
Really great information and very helpful in providing a baseline knowledge base.
KuangJun 27, 2017
I really loved this course and learned so much about tea that I never knew before. There is A LOT of information to absorb, but I am hoping that it will stick and become easier as I learn more about tea and its processing in my continuing classes.
SusanJun 26, 2017
Absolutely loved this! Very detailed and informative! Easy to use platform an clear instruction!
TylerJun 21, 2017
This was a very well organized course that provided a lot of information on tea. I am new to the tea arena and have a lot to learn. This course was provided a lot of information in a way that didn't overwhelm me. Great course!
MaryMay 23, 2017
Does a great job at providing the groundwork for organizing future knowledge about tea. There is an excellent overview of each step of the production process, each main style of tea, and the process of cupping for look, aroma, and taste.
ThomasMay 22, 2017
I enjoyed this course. I'm very glad you included yellow tea.
LornaMay 21, 2017
This course was packed with information. So rich and interesting. It's been over 20 years since I've graduated from college and id forgotten how rigorous coursework can be! Our instructor, Donna Fellman, was very prompt in getting back to me with clarifications, answers to questions, and providing feedback on assignments. I really liked the videos...without them I wouldn't have understood how to do the tea cupping exercises. I believe any suggestions for improvements would come down to personal taste. This course had so many positive qualities. The only thing I can pick on would be that by the time we came to week 3 and the cupping exercises, I didn't have enough time to find an adequate electric tea kettle. I spent about 5 hours running to different stores to find one. Nothing was in stock, I would have had to order one online. Thank you so much for this opportunity and thank you to Donna for being a wonderful instructor!
EllenMay 01, 2017
This course was a great introduction to the fascinating world of tea. It provided current and accurate information. I would take the course again if I could.
AlexApr 17, 2017
This course is a fantastic, and thorough introduction to tea, it's varieties, and methods of processing. It offers a unique, hands-on introduction to professional tasting techniques, and allows participants to explore the wide varieties of teas in the market today. It's well written, well-documented, and balanced in the information that is offered. Thanks very much!
SaraApr 16, 2017
I found this course to be very educational and detailed that significantly helped enhance my current knowledge base. Thank you!!
KathleenApr 01, 2017
I thought all the content was presented well and comprehensive. I was left wanting more though, maybe more in depth on some topics. But, I guess this is the goal, leave you wanting to take more classes!
ChristineApr 01, 2017
While I found a bit of the biology of tea leaves a bit overwhelming, I loved learning about the different types of tea and the differences in their processing. This knowledge coupled with the experience in "cupping" has broadened my basic knowledge of tea. The videos are quite helpful and were instrumental in learning how to cup. Thank you, Donna!
TanseyMar 30, 2017
Very good information. It would be nice to know before the final test the number of questions and encourage students to carefully look over the key learning points. The in course videos were very informative and really broadened the material. I thoroughly enjoyed the course!
JamesMar 29, 2017
Informative and well-organized course. The opportunity to interact with other students in week 3 worked well.
soniaMar 04, 2017
This course was a very thorough introduction to Camellia sinensis. It opened my eyes to the immense world of this incredible plant. The format and pace of the class was challenging, well thought out, nicely presented, and easily accessible. The instructor was very friendly, informative and responsive. I looked forward to continuing my tea education with the Academy.
DoniMar 03, 2017
Very interesting and informative. The instructor was very personable and quick with responses. Looking forward to my future tea courses/classes.
HeatherFeb 26, 2017
Thank you for a well-rounded and thorough base on which to grow my tea knowledge.
ChristineJan 29, 2017
Very in depth course. The information presented was very informative regarding the different tea types. The classroom assignments helped reinforce learning the different tea types.
SandraJan 23, 2017
Great information, well organized. I've learnt the foundations and am excited to delve deeper into the world of tea.
MathieuJan 23, 2017
Would love to know how some of these words are pronounced, not sure just by reading it I was saying it correctly. The instructor was wonderful and attentive, answered questions and provided great feedback.
MariaJan 23, 2017
Very concise videos and written materials, the content, quizzes and assignments are perfect for both those who are just getting into tea, and those who have a good background with it. Of any class I have taken this definitely takes the cake for how well prepared it was and the content given. Thank you!
DylanJan 22, 2017
This was such an excellent course! My level of knowledge has grown exponentially in just three short weeks ! I am looking forward to future classes as I work towards my Tea Sommelier Certification. The only feedback that I have would be possibly to a live/visual conference chats so that we would have an opportunity to meet the instructor and meet those of us who are taking the course.
TammyJan 17, 2017
This is a great introduction to the tea industry!
EricDec 04, 2016
A wealth of information is provided in this course and is a great introduction to the world of tea!
TinaDec 03, 2016
Great course! Highly recommended.
KaitlynDec 03, 2016
Loved the course. I found it fascinating to learn about the amazing tea leaf and how so many teas can come from one tea leaf. I hope to take more classes in the future. There was so much vital and interesting information-I hope I can remember it! Thank you Donna!
JanineNov 28, 2016
This is a great introductory course to the study of tea. It is comprehensive and covers all the basics in great detail plus more. I did not expect to learn about botany of the tea plant but found this to be very helpful.
LynetteNov 27, 2016
Nice video presentations.
YulinNov 24, 2016
Great class! Plan on taking more.
Lisa Nov 19, 2016
Learned so much! Thank you for the knowledge.
KimberlyNov 16, 2016
This course had much more to offer than i had expected. It gave me a lot of unknown insights about tea. I also leaned the proper way of doing a cupping and sensory evaluations of teas. I look forward for the remaining courses now.
BharatOct 29, 2016
Very well done! I was apprehensive about a on line class but now I am ready to proceed to core2. Thank you Donna & Babbett for the personal feedback on my lessons.
TamaraOct 24, 2016
It was a great class. I learned so much from the ground up. Starting with the science and moving to sensory evaluations. I appreciate that all the necessary teas and materials were provided. The videos were excellent and thorough. Thank you!
JulieOct 23, 2016
Great course looking forward to the next course.
DamienAug 23, 2016
Excellent beginner's course--even for people who think they know a lot about tea. I learned so much more about the processing of tea and gained additional knowledge that I was not aware--especially with the processing stages. The final exam was "multiple choice" versus what I imagined as a written exam. Perhaps acknowledging that may help someone prepare for the exam and not worry about taking it (like I did). The exam was definitely challenging but covered the highlights. I'm more than excited about continuing my tea study journey.
DonnaLeeAug 21, 2016
Fortunately, I found much more than I was expecting... I had a wonderful time studying and practicing. Look forward to attend the next courses!!!! Thank you so much! :-)
NathaliaJul 31, 2016
Very informative! Great overview of tea's history, how it's processed and professional cupping techniques.
PatJul 24, 2016
Enjoyed the content and fabulous video's. I didn't give it a 5 star as I would have liked to have had at some point, personal interaction via Skype or gotomeeting with the instructor and fellow class mates. Otherwise it was great! Looking forward to the next class.
M RenéeMay 26, 2016
Found the course engaging and interesting an provided me with the desire & interest to continue onto Core 2. Only technical issue I had was uploading pictures for class assignment 3 - home cupping set - I found it difficult to work out how to do this. Otherwise looking forward to continuing. Thanks Simone
SimoneMay 25, 2016
As a newbie to the Tea Industry I am extremely grateful for the exposure to this invaluable introduction and training that i have received in this course. Definitely can say that it is the right foundation necessary to pursue a career as a Tea Professional! I shall continue learning with you all for sure!!
SimoneMay 24, 2016
A fun coarse! Very informative and eye-opening!
AllegraMay 02, 2016
The course was very informative and helpful in developing a good knowledge base to build on. Thank you
JohnApr 30, 2016
I totally loved this course and all the assignments and activities too. I'm already excited for the next course to further widen/improve my knowledge.
Naiya Apr 28, 2016
Great course for the basics! Was excited that it included a lot of the science behind the essentials; makes for a more complete understanding, and much of it was new information and details for me as a result.
MatthewApr 24, 2016
This first course was so much more than I imagine. I loved learning about the chemical break down of the leaves, how the leaf is contructed, and why it makes it a tea leaf. I can't wait to continue learning!
Rebekah Apr 23, 2016
This definitely led to greater understanding of the basics of tea. I want to thank the instructor, Donna, for answering my questions. More multimedia files early in the course would be welcome, although not necessary. I find I learn best from multiple methods - reading, listening, watching, tasting. Thank you.
ChristinaApr 19, 2016
Very detailed and Very Informative. Easily Understandable and Well Written.
LeeMar 27, 2016
Very enjoyable. I espeically liked delving into the physical / chemical composition of the tea leaf and the info on the sweltering stage of yellow tea processing.
DavidMar 26, 2016
Core.01 is a magnificent course for understanding the process of tea and the types of tea. It also introduces you to the skill of cupping which is of immense importance. I greatly appreciated the course and am so glad that there is an online tea academy where I can learn more about this plant I love so much.
DaleJan 30, 2016
Course was great -- would love more videos!
GlennJan 28, 2016
This course is incredibly informative and has begun to show me how much I don't know about tea.
DavidJan 28, 2016
I enjoyed taking this class and really enjoyed learning the cupping experience. I had a difficult time being descriptive in the evaluation. I need more practice. I hope to take more classes in the future to work on getting my certification.
KinauJan 24, 2016
SofiaJan 24, 2016
Detailed, clear and concise. Rich and full bodied without necessarily having too much writeup. Encouraging.
Omotsome Eunice Jan 23, 2016
I loved it so much!! I wrote a few questions with my assignment submission and look forward to your response. I can't wait to begin the next class!
ElsaJan 23, 2016
Loved the course! Some of the Biology is hard for me but good to understand. Thanks for the feedback and support. Diane
JDJan 21, 2016
A good course
MichaelJan 18, 2016
The video content and written content compliment each other wonderfully. Cupping exercise toward the end of the course help the learner experience what he/she has learned intellectually through previous course content. This course is wonderful for someone who simply wants to know more about the tea they drink or wants to go further and obtain a tea certification.
BeauNov 28, 2015
The course content exceeded my expectations, and I especially enjoyed the videos demonstrating the different types of tea. The extra resources are helpful and interesting, too. Thank you for sharing the depth of knowledge in this introduction level, and I look forward to the next course.
JulietNov 22, 2015
I found the videos to be especially helpful. It does seem like a lot of money for basically three lessons and supplies, but most of the included information is not easily available on the internet. This course focuses on a specialty craft, so I am still willing to pay for that knowledge.
AundreaNov 21, 2015
This class is very insightful. The modules are very organized and easy to navigate.
MelanieNov 21, 2015
This course has been very helpful to me. I am new to the tea world and now feel I can begin my journey with confidence. I look forward to furthering my knowledge through World Tea Academy.
AmyOct 31, 2015
Tons of useful information to give you a foundation for further education of tea.
TerraOct 30, 2015
I loved the class, the only thing that wasn't great was the lack of timely involvement on the part of the other students, which I think would have enriched the experience more. Donna was great though.
JudithSep 27, 2015
I enjoyed this class and felt like it was paced very well. I really needed the extra time to finish up due to work. There were a few typos in the text as well as glitches with a few links. I would love to know the specific names of the teas I cupped and any feedback as to what comments a professional would have about the teas. The Discussion part was disappointing mostly because I didn't have any way to know if anyone ever even reviewed those assignments. I felt like this was a comprehensive introduction and look forward to taking the next class.
MaryAug 29, 2015
Enjoyed the class. Really liked the videos. Ms. Fellman does an awesome job describing and showing how to experience the teas.
RenéJul 25, 2015
Lots of great information.
AnneJul 24, 2015
Very informative and engaging course! I appreciate the opportunity to be able to further my knowledge through this material provided and I enjoyed learning more about the magical Camellia sinensis!
KyleJun 22, 2015
Very good beginners course! Lots of information, but it never seemed overwhelming :)
ShawnaJun 20, 2015
Great beginner course, really touched all of the basics that I've read and learned about prior to this course in a straight-forward and easy to learn way. I liked the online format of the class and the introspective questions (that really make you think about your own goals and feelings). The only thing I can think to improve is to include a timer that actually has a shut off switch. The one sent looks nice but taking the battery out is a pain and there is no other way to turn off the display so the battery doesn't drain.
CarrieJun 16, 2015
Wonderful introduction into the field of tea studies and I am looking forward to the next class! Great in depth videos, and lectures provided a lot of great information.
IzaakMay 26, 2015
Dear Teacher, My feedback are very positive and definitely I will make other courses to increase my knowledge. So for me everything are very clear and easy to touch in your courses, I cannot say change something. With my best regards. Eugen Achim
EugenMay 24, 2015
Excellent course! I learned a tremendous amount of new material. The course material was organized very well. The videos for the different sessions were great. I liked the theoretical parts and the learning material. The best part is the cupping set material and it made all the difference in the world to pratice and experiences the cuppings in a very structured way with the evaluation sheets. Thank you so much for all your support, Donna! Best regards, Michael
MichaelMay 24, 2015
Lecture materials is very well done. It is clear, essential but at the same time accurate.(*****). The teas are very good (****). For my inability I had some problems with your website (****)
MaurizioFeb 27, 2015
I learn a lot and I certain this will be most usefully for my business.
ChananyaFeb 25, 2015