I must confess, for a student with over 20 different varieties of tea stashed in their dedicated hot drinks cupboard, I was late to catch onto the greatness that was the University of St Andrews Tea Society’s tea tasting. To my luck, the day before the event, my friend alerted me it was going on, asking if I’d join her at the tasting held in the Beacon Bar.

By the next afternoon, I was on my way to the Union for a study break from my piles of fourth year reading. (#SpoonTip: give your fourth year friends a hug!) Considering I had just come from the library, entering the society’s second event of the year felt like an amazing escape.

Beacon Bar was completely packed when I arrived. So much so, that new arrivals to the event were politely asked to wait for a few minutes, while the committee hand-washed a new supply of clean teacups. In the meantime, attendees spread around the tables and couches of the venue, catching up with their friends.

The St Andrews Tea Society undoubtedly pulls out all the stops for their members. I was provided with a variety of biscuits and home-made cakes to complement the great variety of tea offered up at the event. The committee also takes the precision involved in brewing tea seriously. Indeed, the society boasts a kettle whose temperature can be precisely controlled to ensure tea leaves don’t get burnt in the brewing process. Instead, they consumed at the exact temperature all tea lovers were meant to enjoy them at. Not sure why temperature is so important to tea? Check out Spoon's Ultimate Tea Guide ! 

tea, herb, green tea, black tea, herbal tea
Ana Cvetkovic

If you missed out on the event, worry not. The society has plans for regular tastings for the rest of the academic year. Allen, one of the committee members (pictured below), shared with me that upon entering its second year, Tea Society is expanding to incorporate more world teas into their tasting repertoire. This way, their members will get to know flavours beyond the standard English breakfast, and can finish the academic year with greater tea knowledge. He also hopes to hold speaker events with tea professionals, and to bring a Japanese tea ceremony event to St Andrews during the year. 

coffee, tea, cake, beer
Kata Vass

I also asked Allen about his favourite tea at the event. His response? The Pu’erh. If you also are a fan of Pu’erh, make sure to check out the Tea Society’s Facebook page for their upcoming events. And if you aren’t even sure how to pronounce it, then come along to the society’s next tasting. The committee will be on hand to help you out!