European Tea Society Debuts at Tea & Coffee World Cup

The European Tea Society (ETS) is a newly formed not-for-profit organisation based in Bedford, England, whose driving principle is to create, promote and inspire excellence in the specialty tea community. It aims to achieve this by stimulating new ideas with webinars and mentorship programs, by setting and validating standards, and by consumer and scientific research and innovation. The society officially launched at the Tea & Coffee World Cup Exhibition and Symposium in Birmingham, England on Wednesday, 5 September 2018, where ETS president, Nigel Melican, presented in the conference segment.

With a mission to provide support to a membership base which spans the entire tea value chain, ETS was initially conceptualised by tea pioneer Jane Pettigrew. It was then brought to life by a group of passionate tea industry specialists, who believe in the benefit of developing a shared learning community in order to drive excellence and innovation in the specialty tea and herbal infusions sector.

Tea has a long standing and rich European heritage; however, the global tea landscape is changing rapidly, and the growth of the specialty industry has given rise to the need for an organisation to support this expansion from a European market perspective. Taking inspiration from the Specialty Coffee Association, and the way in which that organisation has helped the global coffee landscape to grow and thrive, ETS’s longer term aims are to engage a cross section of industries having an interest in tea that reaches beyond its benefit as a beverage.

“Tea is increasingly being valued as a specialty commodity and has entered an era of value creation,” says Jane Pettigrew, director of the UK Tea Academy and author of World of Tea. “The hospitality sector has introduced specialty tea as an equally interesting culinary experience in place of wine; ready to drink functional tea products are exploding onto the wellness market and even the beauty industry is using it as an ingredient to elevate its offering.”

Appealing to an inclusive community of professionals and specialists, such as growers, retail owners and entrepreneurs, as well as enthusiasts starting out on their tea journey, ETS’s offering will focus on knowledge sharing in order to lead members towards a path of professional success. Through its webinars spanning topics such as latest trends to scientific discoveries, to a mentorship program that links members to accomplished tea professionals for guidance, members can draw strength from the ETS network’s collective skills and expertise.

“Learning is fun and increases commitment,” says Bernadine Tay, founding director of the European Tea Society, noting that formal education levels are regularly linked to higher earnings and lower unemployment. “There are exciting innovations happening within the tea industry and beyond, and we want to share the opportunities with our members to help them develop and thrive. As a modern, forward thinking society, we want to use technology for ongoing skill acquisition that is critical to persistent professional progression. Only by developing a shared learning community can we innovate.”

For further information and to join the European Tea Society, visit:

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