Caryn Tang Opens Up on Being A Water Sommelier

30 Oct 2023

Caryn Tang is a wine and water sommelier.

“I completed the Water Sommelier course at the renowned Doemens Academy in Munich two years ago. The intensive two-week program covered a wide range of topics, including water tasting, water harvesting methods, legal regulations surrounding water, packaging, label interpretation, health benefits, the role of water in gastronomy, glassware, and water pairing with various foods and wines. One of the most fascinating aspects of the course was the field trips to water bottling plants, which allowed us to witness the entire water production process from its source.

Upon learning about my profession, some people initially express surprise that a water sommelier exists. However, they quickly grasped the depth of knowledge and expertise involved in this field, particularly in light of ongoing water security concerns which are frequently covered in the media especially here in Singapore.

My primary objective is to raise awareness about the importance of water through my four-hour course, "The Essence of Water", which I'll be conducting in collaboration with SHATEC. This course will commence on 11 November and 9 December, aiming to educate and inspire individuals about the world of water.

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As a wine educator, my expertise in water has significantly enriched the educational experience in my classes. I've had the privilege of altering people's perceptions about water, encouraging them to incorporate natural mineral water into their daily beverage choices. One notable instance was during a Pu'er tea tasting session where enthusiasts unanimously favoured a particular water, leading to bulk purchases by the carton and pallet the following day. This experience has reinforced my understanding of the health benefits associated with natural mineral waters and their healing properties based on mineral content.

Despite my initial attempts to introduce the concept of a water menu to some restaurants and even an airline, these proposals were not adopted. While it was disappointing, I recognised that pioneering this field comes with its challenges.

Through my upcoming course and my Instagram profile, @sgwatersommelier, I aim to educate Singaporeans about the significance of water in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I intend to establish partnerships within the wellness and F&B sectors to develop distinctive water-related experiences.

Today, globally, the younger generation is transitioning away from alcoholic beverages. Water appreciation offers a healthier alternative, devoid of the sugar found in soft drinks. Additionally, it has the potential to elevate the dining experience for teetotallers, a demographic often overlooked due to the limited availability of engaging non-alcoholic beverage options.”