Tsai loves drinking water. He is one of only 10 to 20 water sommeliers in Taiwan.
Though still a rare career in his hometown, the profession is becoming more popular in Canada, Australia and mainland China, Tsai said.
Much akin to a sommelier, or wine expert, a water sommelier recommends the right water to go with each cuisine.
Water companies also hire water sommeliers to introduce their products as well as make product development suggestions.
Tsai loves to eat, but now he has to avoid beef and lamb. Food that is too spicy is no good, too, as they may compromise his taste buds.
As far as he knows, Hong Kong still doesn’t have a water sommelier, but Tsai believes it is a career with bright prospects as people get more health-conscious.
In the case of wine selection, a rule of thumb is pairing white wine with white meat and red wine with red meat. For water, there are two major categories, too: sparkling and still.
“Sparkling water goes well with red wine and western dishes like steaks. If you are ordering something of mild taste, like Japanese food, still water would be a good choice,” Tsai explained.
Globally, you can find the best quality of water in Japan, Hawaii, Taiwan and South Korea, he said.
Tsai works for a water firm, and collaborates with restaurants and hotels to give talks about water.
“Summer months are relatively busy,” he said.
This article appeared in Chinese in the March 2016 issue of the Hong Kong Economic Journal Monthly. (Android, iOS) (Andriod, IOs)
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