About Us

Sake Sommelier Academy

- A Gateway to International Sake Expertise -

The Sake Sommelier Academy has been providing world-leading sake education for over 20 years, and is widely regarded as the international authority for sake training. We strive to promote global education, awareness, and appreciation of sake whilst simultaneously increasing opportunities for students to learn it's rich cultural history.

Overseen and accredited by the Sake Sommelier Association, the Sake Sommelier Academy works alongside a network of approved professional sake educators in all corners of the globe, to provide unprecedented Sake Sommelier training.

The Sake Sommelier Academy believes that the best way of teaching is to provide practical & usable information, and we enshrine these sommelier-based skills and interactive workshops throughout our courses.

Whether you are a seasoned veteran of the beverage industry or simply an admirer of Japanese culture, our bespoke courses - ranging from Introductory to Master - form a comprehensive curriculum that is tailored to students' individual levels of experience and expertise.


Since its creation in 2000, the Sake Sommelier Academy has trained over 10,000 students around the world! This is thanks to our franchise network of independent Sake Academies & Educators covering more than 60 countries over 6 continents. Many of our students have reached the highest positions in the beverage and fine dining industries.

Founder Profiles


Kumiko grew up in Japan surrounded by rice fields and sake-brewing culture. A thirst to learn more drove her to visiting breweries as soon as she could, and lead to a life-long passion with sake. This culminated in her becoming an Authorised Sake Lecturer, obtaining the Higher Certificate in Sake Education. After relocating to the UK, Kumiko has tirelessly championed sake. A co-founder of the Sake Sommelier Association, her efforts where recognised by Nikkei in 2008 when she received the prestigious “Woman of the Year” award. Since then she has redoubled her efforts, constantly looking for new ways to showcase and promote sake.


Recognised as one of the world’s leading non-Japanese sake experts, Xavier has built an encyclopaedic knowledge of Japanese sake through his experience in both retail & fine restaurant consultancy. By learning first-hand from brewery professionals, his appreciation and passion for sake spread into teaching, driven by an ambition to pass his knowledge to others. With this goal in mind, he co-founded the Sake Sommelier Association. His efforts were noticed by distinguished drinks magazine Imbibe in 2013, when he was nominated for “Educator of the Year”. His contribution for bringing sake to the sommelier world has also been featured in the press many times, for publications such as: The Times, The Guardian, The Evening Standard, Asahi TV, BBC Radio 4, Channel 4 TV and more.