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Carpe tea-um: Q&A with tea sommelier alumnus and instructor Delano Tamborini

Posted on June 14, 2016

‌‌CS Delano Tamborini Tea SommelierMeet Delano Tamborini, a graduate and instructor of the Tea Sommelier program.

What is your current career? 

I teach the Tea Sommelier program at VCC and am working on launching The Spirit of Tea, my business focused on developing tea-infused alcoholic beverages. I'm also Executive Director of the annual Vancouver Tea Festival, Western Canada's largest tea festival held in November 2016.

Can you share an interesting thing (or two) about your journey to reach this moment?

After spending most of the 2000s accumulating degrees and diplomas and traveling the world, I found when it came time to settle upon a career, I was having difficulty doing so. Then a simple thought began to captivate me: What if I chose something I was passionate about and then worked at making it a career? I had always loved tea and figured if I immersed myself in learning more about it - starting with VCC's Tea Sommelier program- it would take me somewhere I couldn't even imagine. And it has!

What was the best part about studying at VCC?

The great people I met during my studies and the warm, welcoming, and supportive atmosphere the college creates. The faculty and staff genuinely care about students, and I never once felt like I was just a number. 

What is the best tea you have ever tasted?

I tasted an astounding sheng pu'er made by the Haixintang workshop, a tiny and not widely known pu'er producer in Yunnan, China (where all true pu'er comes from). The leaves of this pu'er were harvested from an area near the village of Lao Ban Zhang, the most renowned origin in China for pu'er. And the tea was out of this world! I drink quantities of pu'er most people would find difficult to comprehend!

What is your best piece advice for someone starting out in this industry?

Don't be afraid to be a trailblazer. There may not always be a roadmap for where you want to go, but never let that deter you from following your passion to its fullest extent. Life is too short to live with 'what if?' and 'why didn't I?' Carpe tea-em!


Train to become a Tea Sommelier – a knowledgeable tea professional with a specialty in tea service. Registration is now open for classes starting in September.